Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

The best sustainable gear to save the planet

It was in 1973 when engineer Nathaniel Wyeth patented polyethylene terephthalate bottles. These were the first plastic bottles able to withstand the pressure of carbonated liquids. Crucially, they were a much cheaper alternative to glass bottles. 

By 2019, more than a million plastic bottles were being sold every single minute around the globe. Trouble is, it takes at least 450 years for a plastic bottle to completely degrade. 

Meanwhile, in 2020, the global reusable water bottle market was worth $8.75 billion, and is projected to be as much as $11 billion by 2025. 

Ecologically, we all know we have to do better at a personal level, and as the collective will swings towards finally trying to do right by the planet, this means companies have figured viable business cases for making eco, sustainable products that are not only worth buying but in many cases are better than their polluting counterparts. Here are a few worthy examples. 

Pebble eco cutlery

There’s a moment in Pixar’s post-apocalyptic opus, Wall-E, where our titular hero saves a spork from the skyscrapers of landfill – it’s a throwaway moment in every sense, but with 40 billion single-use utensils wasted just in the US each year, and six trillion items of plastic waste now drifting in the world’s oceans, it’s one to be taken seriously. 

Enter Pebble, a go-anywhere cutlery set made from recyclable anodised titanium coated steel and recycled old CDs. This dishwasher-safe 175g set includes a folding knife, fork, spoon, straw and chopsticks, neatly stowed in a case that clips to your bag. They’re full sized, sustainable and infinitely more enjoyable to eat with than any throwaway compostable or bamboo alternative.

Pebble Triple Pack: £49 from Otherware

Sky Diamonds

From funding civil wars to inhumane working conditions and devastating environmental damage, traditionally mined diamonds should be the sort of Girls’ Best Friend that gets ghosted and unfriended.

Enter Dale Vince, founder of green energy supplier Ecotricity, who has created Sky Diamonds, the world’s first zero-impact, carbon-negative diamonds at his “sky-mining facility” in Stroud. Above are eight of these lab-grown stones, each accredited by the International Gemological Institute and with the same chemical and physical properties as mined diamonds. Vince estimates his venture will produce a minimum of 200 carats per month.

They are by no means the first to make synthetic diamonds, with the first stones made in 1954, and several brands including Lark & Berry and Brilliant Earth offering complete collections, but by using only renewable energy, carbon and rainwater, these are by far the most sustainable.

They’re created using Chemical Vapor Deposition, which involves placing a microscopic diamond “seed” in a chamber filled with carbon enriched gas and heating it to around 1,500ºC. This forces the carbon atoms in the gas to stick to the seed, “growing” a new diamond. 

Flexi-Hex & NOTOX KORKO cork surfboard

Inventive, stylish and seriously sustainable, Flexi-Hex is an essential antidote to the obscene levels of waste produced by the packaging industry. It’s plastic-free and is made using recycled cardboard, which produces 73 per cent less air pollution than if new paper was made from raw materials. 

Its hexagonal cellular sleeve construction provides incredible strength-to-weight performance. Also, the concertina design takes up minimal space, making it more convenient to store while its light weight means it’s economical to ship to customers. 

Most PopularGearThe Omega x Swatch Snoopy MoonSwatch Has Landed

Jeremy White

Gear33 Great Deals From Amazon’s Big Spring Sale

Louryn Strampe

GearWhy You Hear Voices in Your White Noise Machine

Jennifer Billock

GearThe 15 Best Electric Bikes for Every Kind of Ride

Adrienne So

Available in various widths and lengths making it adaptable for almost any product, Flexi-Hex was created originally to strip single-use plastics from the surfboard industry supply chain, which is why we've wrapped it here around the NOTOX KORKO cork surfboard. This eco board needs no wax, offers exceptional grip, and any dinks can be filled with cork and sanded smooth 

NOTOX KORKO cork surfboard: €472.50 from Notox


Cardboard and cork may well combine beautifully to keep your leisure activities on the greenest path, but that impact is a drop in the ocean compared to the effect business and construction has on our resources.

The construction sector is the largest user of materials in the UK, producing the biggest waste stream – around 100 million tonnes according to Wrap – and while much is broken down for aggregates, Scottish startup Kenoteq is turning some back into a low-carbon brick that weighs and behaves just like a clay brick.

Invented by engineering professor Gabriela Medero, the K-Briq creates less than a tenth of the carbon emissions of a standard brick, but has double the insulation properties of cement and uses 90 per cent inert construction waste. It doesn’t need to be fired – it’s held together by a binding agent, so there’s no energy used to fire it in a kiln – and by adding recycled pigment you can specify any colour you like.

At the other end of the construction spectrum is Newtab-22, a London design studio experimenting with waste from the seafood industry. According to their research, seven million tonnes of seashells from the food industry are discarded annually, most of which are destined for landfill. In response, they’ve used the shells to create Sea Stone, an all-natural, non-toxic, cement-like material. It’s early days, but we’re more than happy to shuck a few more oysters in the pursuit of the ultimate in sustainable building materials.

And finally, some good news for businesses still struggling with the concept of the paperless office. The 2.85m wide Epson PaperLab A-8000 is the world’s first in-office paper recycler that   turns waste paper into fresh white sheets of new paper, on site and with virtually no water.

It requires your waste paper to be flat – so compulsive scrunchers will need to mend their ways – but once fed back into the machine, the sheets are finely shredded into fibres, colourants are then removed and a binding agent is added before the fibres are deposited in a layer and pressed and cut into new sheets. 

It can produce up to 720 sheets per hour in A3 or A4, with a number of finish and colour options in weights from 150g/m2 to 240g/m2. Eco bonus fact: recycled paper produces 73 per cent less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials. 

More great stories from WIRED📚 The future of medicine, AI and climate change: get WIRED booksThis is what Monzo is planning nextThe hunt for a drug that can stop Covid-19 infectionsThese people can’t visualise images in their mindWhy iOS 14.5 is Apple’s biggest privacy updateLewis Hamilton opens up about activism and life beyond F1🔊 Subscribe to the WIRED Podcast. New episodes every Friday

This article was originally published by WIRED UK

Popular Articles