Eco Gadget

Eco Gadget

24 November, 2015
Direct Line to Nature
Forward-thinking companies are finding ways to leverage our gadget addiction to inspire conservation

The rapidly evolving tech landscape has us perpetually in pursuit of the hottest new upgrade or gadget. Sadly, the consumer patterns emerging in this industry are more readily associated with waste than a will to protect our planet. 
There are more than six billion mobile phone subscriptions active in the world today, servicing a global population of seven billion. That’s nearly as many mobile phone subscriptions as people in the world. Mobile and digital devices have transformed the way we communicate, work, travel and shop. But while our relationship with technology is decidedly long term, we view the gadgets themselves, and their accessories, as disposable, short-term items.
However, a few companies are looking to change this. Some are finding ways to marry consumption with conservation – and use innovative techniques to help customers apply their purchasing power in this way.
What if every frivolous phone cover that was purchased also funded someone, somewhere to plant a tree? What if conservation became trendy, stylish and cool?
Enter ETEAQ. Each of its organic-design gadget accessories not only looks and feels different – it also makes a difference. Every item is handcrafted using teak wood from Java, Indonesia that has been recycled from old houses or abandoned fishing boats. But the unique beauty of this item goes deeper than that.
There’s a six-digit code engraved on every teak wood casing. This exclusive code is a ‘World Identification Number’ that represents a tree that you adopt upon purchasing your phone cover or tablet case. But even that’s not all.
The direct connection between tree and product is brought to life through the unique Tree Tracker programme, a web application developed in partnership with Google Earth to take the user on a virtual journey to Indonesia, to the  exact  spot where the adopted tree is located. Soon, the technology will be extended to show which surrounding trees are sponsored by what companies or individuals. This helps you visualise the positive impact of your purchase, and inspires more mindful consumer behaviour and interest in our environment.
The Trees4Trees foundation is a partner in this programme, empowering local communities through inclusive reforestation initiatives and education programmes. By increasing the area of community planted and owned forests, livelihood assets are created, deforestation is reduced, and biodiversity is stimulated.
Such is the impact of this concept that it was selected out of 600 startups from 60 counties to be part of leading global innovation conference RISE – an event that highlights ground- breaking new companies with high investment potential. ETEAQ participated at RISE’s PITCH 2015 event, presenting to over a thousand attendees including investors, influential media, and industry leaders.
“In a market that is currently saturated with disposable, generic and largely plastic products, we exist to provide a sustainable, stylish alternative in mobile accessories,” says ETEAQ’s Co- Founder and CEO, Bas Fransen.
“We  want to inspire a different and more sustainable kind of growth. So much of the rhetoric around mobile technology relates to its ability to foster connections. We are creating a way for consumers to connect with the natural as well as virtual world around them.” Excitingly, the company plans to extend the patented Tree Tracker programme to include a plethora of products across many industries and companies.
So go ahead – make a statement about what kind of consumer you are. The technology is out there.

By: Ecozine Staff


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