With COP26 underway, the spotlight is on all things sustainable.
And that also applies to the world of technology, where there are all sorts of incredible innovations on the market.
From eco laundry solutions to giving our gadgets a second life, technology has an important part to play in a sustainable future.
Read on below to find out about the tech and sustainable initiatives that will help you do your part for the planet.
Keep it clean
Did you know that around a third of clothing’s carbon footprint comes from how we wash and care for what we own?
And with four in ten Brits unaware of the impact washing clothes has on the environment, it’s no wonder companies are making a concerted effort to embrace eco-friendly practices.
One such company is LG. Its award-winning laundry innovation, LG Styler (from £1,849.98), offers an eco-friendly substitute to dry cleaning by relying on steam instead of toxic chemicals and artificial substances. It combines the steam technology of washing machines and the temperature control of refrigerators with advanced air flow technology.
Chuck in moving ‘hanger action’, which gently shakes clothes to straighten any wrinkles with a light steam mist, alongside TrueSteam technology to sanitise clothing while annihilating over 99% of allergens and bacteria, and its desirability definitely goes up a few notches.
Another company reimagining a more eco-friendly future for clothing care is Pilot Lite and its three-in-one W’air device (£159).
Hailed as the first sustainable laundry device on the market, this gadget works by creating a blast of water, air and detergent that ‘actively collides’ with dirt, grime and unwanted odours to clean clothes, soft furnishings and even trainers. Its creators say it uses up to 99% less water and 77% less detergent than conventional laundry.
How about airing your dirty laundry with Bosch’s revolutionary FreshUp device £249.99)? About the size of a glasses case, this portable pill-shaped electronic device offers another sustainable way to dissolve odour molecules from stale-smelling fabrics, refreshing them instantly with the help of plasma particles.
This is all done through a process called ionisation, ending the need to frequently send them for a spin in the washing machine.
Have you thought about switching to an electric car? You’re not alone. Ahead of the government’s 2030 phase-out of sales of new ICE vehicles, research by Volkswagen Financial Services UK reveals that almost a quarter of Brits see themselves driving an electric vehicle within five years.
If you’re on the hunt for a green machine, BMW’s iX3, an absolute beast of a car, is an excellent eco-friendly contender. Its 80kWh lithium-ion batteries return up to 285 miles on a single full charge, putting range anxiety firmly in the rear-view mirror, while 150kW rapid charging takes the car from empty to 80% capacity in around half an hour.
According to BMW, the iX3’s electric motor is up to 93% energy efficient, compared with under 40% for combustion engines. Its ability to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds, 286hp output and in-cabin gesture-control system are the cherries atop this all-electric cake.
Not sure about making the switch? Renewable energy supplier Pure Planet and BP have joined forces to create an app that allows households and motorists to see the financial and environmental cost of their energy use for the first time.
By linking your home energy cost and car, it essentially means people who don’t yet drive electric cars will be able to see potential savings they would make by switching to an electric vehicle (based on their own current car use) and how much CO2 they would save.
How about an electric power bank on wheels? First of its kind, the game-
changing and app-controlled ZipCharge Go is ideal for anyone put off by not being able to charge at home or having to search for charging points.
It packs enough power to provide up to 20 miles of range, enough for most daily commutes, in just over 30 minutes and can be neatly stored in the boot. It’s due to arrive late 2022.
Give tech a second life
In the space of just one month, the world produces 4.5 million metric tonnes of discarded electronics (e-waste), with only 17.4% of it being recycled.
The research from recommerce platform MusicMagpie also reveals that the UK produces 133,141 tonnes of e-waste per month and that 79% of Brits don’t know what e-waste is.
Keen to reduce this high volume of e-waste, MusicMagpie has teamed up with Asda to breathe new life into unwanted tech and prevent landfill waste with SmartDrop kiosks.
As part of the new ‘sustainability partnership’, the retailer will roll out these drop desks at nearly 300 stores in the coming year, enabling shoppers to recycle their unwanted phones in exchange for cash.
Similarly, recovery and distribution firm Genuine Solutions has formed a new partnership with the British Exporters Association (BExA) to encourage businesses to recycle redundant tech in exchange for donations for charity.
BExA members will be able to arrange the collection of personal and company-owned devices, making use of some of the estimated 125 million used devices in the UK, and turn them into well-needed charity donations.
Genuine Solutions will then recycle and redistribute these devices, with
the proceeds going to its nominated charity partners.
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