Demand for the latest tech contributes to vast amounts of electronic waste and discarded cell phones are the biggest culprit. While the pickings are still slim for eco-friendly smartphones, you can do your part to cut back on waste by (1) making sure you have a durable case to keep your device from falling and breaking and (2) opting for more conscious phone accessories. Cases are a great place to start. Look for companies that use recycled plastic or textiles in their designs. Materials like bamboo, a fast-generating grass that doesn’t require any fertilizer, are better options than some wood-clad cases that contribute to deforestation.
Pela Compostable Phone Case
From selfie to soil. Amazon
All Pela cases are made of a bioplastic and flax straw mixture that makes these protectors 100 percent biodegradable. All Pela cases meet ASTM D6400 standards, meaning they’ll break down in your city’s industrial compost system in as little as three months. You can also send your case back to Pela and they’ll compost it for you. Pela cases fit most iPhones, Samsung Galaxies and Notes, Google Pixels, and Huawei smartphones.
Reveal Cork Wood Case
Keep deforestation down. Amazon
Reveal has an entire line of cork and bamboo cases for Apple products, which is both the company’s strong suit and achilles heel, depending on which operating system you’re working with. Despite being soft, a cork case is super durable, naturally water-resistant, and shock-absorbing. Still, the best part about this material is that cork trees don’t have to be cut down in order to harvest the tree’s wood. A cork harvester strips bark from a portion of the trunk and removes a portion of the wood without killing the tree.
Carved Eastern Red Cedar Case
Responsibly sourced wood. Amazon
Carved has a huge variety of smartphone cases; if you purchased your phone in the past four years, this company likely has a case that’ll fit. Carved cases find a use for burls, lumpy tree growths that are often discarded or burned once a tree is felled. Each case is as unique as the burl it comes from, and they’re all beautiful. Carved cases do come with rubber bumpers, however, which is not a sustainable material.