This post is kindly sponsored by Nimble, a company with thoughtfully designed, sustainable technology to simplify your life.

As part of my zero waste efforts, I try to walk as much as possible. I walk half an hour to my coworking space. I walk downtown for meetings about community projects. I even occasionally walk the treacherous 1.5 miles to the nearest grocery shop. But no matter where I am, my phone is constantly in hand (er, in pocket) with a podcast going and battery draining.

To be honest, I never really thought much about it.

Because one of the parts of sustainability I haven’t explored much is electronics. I bought my phone and computer before I was seriously thinking about zero waste so never spent much time thinking about their impact. I always figured well, I already have them. When they die, I’ll figure it out.

So when I had the chance to try out a Nimble portable charger, I was suddenly thrust into a world of information I’ve never had to consider.

How I'm moving toward ethical tech with Nimble (size) - Green Indy Blog

What’s the big deal about e-waste?

How about that it’s predicted global e-waste is going to hit about 50 million tons this year? And less than 15% of e-waste actually gets recycled? If you’d like to learn more about this issue (and the amount of money lost in resources to this problem is staggering ), check out this incredibly in-depth report from the International Telecommunications Union.

Luckily, companies like Nimble are here to make the task of purchasing our necessary electronics feel less like we’re selling out our sustainability beliefs. Plus, their move towards achieving Certified B-Corp status is a great way to see they’re actually walking the walk, and not just talking the talk.

How I'm moving toward ethical tech with Nimble (charger) - Green Indy Blog

I got to try the 5-Day Fast Portable Charger, which can charge up to four devices simultaneously or a total of five full phone charges! The opportunity to try it came at a great time since, as I said, I move around the city with no guarantee there’ll be a place to charge my phone. I also foresee it being tucked into a bag on any upcoming trips I may have.

For someone whose phone is both a source of entertainment and work, my battery dies fast. I never realized how tied I was to chargers until I had a portable charger in my purse. It charges my little phone quickly and does indeed let me charge several times without running out of charge itself. I’d say I got about a week’s worth of daily half charges, with my husband also plugging in his phone a few times while we were out.

And while the portable charger is heavier than a phone, it’s compact in a way that lets you tuck it into just about any bag you want.

How I'm moving toward ethical tech with Nimble - Green Indy Blog

What makes Nimble special?

Aside from the perks of having a charger always on-hand, the less obvious aspects are pretty remarkable, starting with their materials. The internal plastics are made from renewables like corn starch or sugar cane, they use recycled aluminum, and the external finish is made from “100% organic hemp combined with recycled PET plastics from water bottles and other single-use plastics.”

But beyond function – because there are a lot of companies selling functional portable chargers – is Nimble’s commitment to creating low-impact electronics. Here’s a few reasons why Nimble is definitely not an example of greenwashing:

  • They’re digital only. Not only does this make their products less expensive, but it actually reduces the company’s overall carbon emissions. I wrote extensively about why online shopping almost always ensures lower carbon emissions on the consumer side and Nimble reflects that.
  • They have a full list of suppliers. While it doesn’t guarantee perfection, they are very open about their supply chain and the B-Corp status means they’re working hard to support ethical suppliers at every step.
  • They ship their products 100% plastic-free. I was honestly shocked by this, as I’m sure you’re aware of the intense over-packaging that usually comes with electronics. Nope, this package was 100% recyclable (I actually composted it!).

How I'm moving toward ethical tech with Nimble (bag) - Green Indy Blog

How Nimble helps fight e-waste

Perhaps the coolest part for me was the plastic bag that came with my order. (Yeah, I said that.) With every purchase of a Nimble product you get a pouch to use for sending old or unused electronic devices and cables directly to an e-recycling company. Even better? They partner with Homeboy Electronics, who aren’t only doing good for the environment but are a woman-owned company offering permanent jobs to people who face severe barriers to work (like former incarcerated gang members).

Finally you can get over the paralysis of just stuffing old electronics or cables into your closet! And feel good in knowing your e-waste is more than just profit. Find out more about the recycling scheme here.

While Nimble can’t yet provide me with everything I need, electronics-wise, they create excellent products that open my mind to what I should be expecting from electronics companies.

Have you thought about your electronics while considering how sustainable you are? How are you reducing your  e-waste?


Polly

An online resource here to help you break down the complex issue of zero waste into simple, actionable steps.