• Kathy

Eco-Friendly Canadian Gift Ideas for Techies

Updated: 5 days ago


Where would we be if it wasn’t for the world of technology? It’s next to impossible to go through a day without a piece of technology that helps make our lives easier. Some definitely love it more than others and the following list is one for the former. Read on for our eco-friendly gifting guide for techies.


We always like to highlight products from Canadian brands and businesses that employ sustainable values. When we started researching for this topic, we quickly found that there weren’t many who create tech-forward commodities for conscious consumers. Perhaps this is a niche that is yet to be explored, but that’s a whole other story. This article from Alex Danco demonstrates the difference between the Canadian and Silicon Valley tech scene, for those who are interested.


We do, however, look forward to expanding this list as we come across more eco-friendly gifts for techies.

1. CARBON CAPTURE SOAP

Company: CleanO2


Soap isn’t exactly a high-tech product, but Calgary-based CleanO2 makes theirs by capturing carbon that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere by household heating equipment. They are then turned into safe and functional cleaning bars for your body. They are sold in packs of 4, 6, or 12 (starting at $29 CAD) and come in a variety of fun scent combinations such as coconut and avocado, spearmint and clay, coffee and honey, as well as activated charcoal, wilderness lager, and juicy rose. Your tech-loving giftee will appreciate learning about how (some would consider) a seemingly ordinary product came about in such extraordinary ways.


How does this technology work you ask? This was also our question! By connecting to your home’s water heater vents, CleanO2’s CARBiN-X machine draws a portion of the gas expelled and uses heat to recover the carbon. Combined with a carbon-reduction chemical, they are able to create a carbonate by-product which is then used in their soaps.


Why We Love Them:

CleanO2’s technology helps to address climate change by tackling the issue of ever-increasing carbon entering our atmosphere and its impact on rising global temperatures. CleanO2 estimates that its carbon capture technology can decrease energy consumption by up to 20%. Their CARBiN-X machine is only the beginning. Not only are they able to reduce carbon, but can also reuse it by turning it into a product that exists in every household, rendering it a carbon-neutral practice.


Bonus! The company offers value to its customers through profit sharing, reduced energy needs through heat recovery, and keeping the mechanical room operating efficiently. Don’t take our word for it, check them out for yourself, and you’ll be blown away by their endeavours. They even have the awards to prove it.


2. BLUE LIGHT GLASSES

Company: Kuma Eyewear via All Things Being Eco


Every screen-watching person will thank you for relieving the tension on their eyes with a stylish pair of (non-prescription) blue light glasses. Get your pair at All Things Being Eco (from Kuma Eyewear) and you’ll be happy to know that a tree is planted for every purchased pair. The arms of every pair of glasses are also made from sustainable wood. Blue light glasses are also great for driving at night or in heavy lighting environments.


Why We Love Them:

BC-based Kuma makes their glasses from handcrafted natural bamboo and also wallets from cork. Their partnership with Trees For the Future allows them to plant trees in some of the Earth’s most endangered and impoverished ecosystems. The trees planted not only help the environment, but also the communities in which they are planted - revitalizing degraded farmlands and providing a renewable resource for building material and sustainable food.


All Things Being Eco carefully sources and hand-picks all products in their shop to ensure they meet their decade-long-tested natural and ethical standards. They offer a wide range of eco-friendly products for the home, ranging from baby to bathroom, cleaning to clothing.


3. COMPOSTABLE WATCH BAND

Company: Pela Case


If your loved one has an Apple Watch, opt to gift them the world’s first 100% compostable watch band from Pela Case - the brand fighting against plastic pollution. The bands come in multiple colours and are super easy to snap on with their patent-pending quick-release magnetic metal clasp (no tools required!). The best part is their bands can be left to biodegrade in a home compost and are free of phthalates, BPA, cadmium, and lead.


Why We Love Them:

Pela Case’s mission is to create a waste-free future and undertake huge initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint across all aspects of their business. They will even take in your old plastic phone case and upcycle it (or ensure it is properly recycled if unusable). Every item shipped goes out with minimal packaging and is free across Canada! They also offset their entire last year’s carbon emissions by purchasing credits, making them carbon-neutral. As a B Corporation, Pela Case has been deemed to have adhered to the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.


4. LAPTOP BAG

Company: Mariclaro Designs


Once your favourite techie is no longer working from home, they’ll be the most fashionable one walking back into their office with their gifted laptop bag from Mariclaro Designs. Mariclaro’s unique bags and accessories are all repurposed from vintage automotive interiors and aviation materials - giving the pieces more depth and character. You can read about where the materials come from (which aircraft, make and model of the car it was pulled from, etc.) before making each purchase!


Why We Love Them:

Everything is handmade in Canada out of their studio in Ontario. Each piece breathes new life to textiles that would otherwise have ended up in the landfill. While their originally-designed bags and accessories are the highlight of their work, Mariclaro also actively works with individuals and businesses on customized projects. They can help you upcycle any sentimental pieces (like an old college jacket, uniform, vintage car, etc.) and turn them into functional articles that you can continue cherishing.


In the world of sustainability, upcycling and repurposing are more preferable to recycling. In essence, recycling requires energy to break the item down to its raw materials in order to create something new while upcycling finds a new way of using the existing materials in its current state - saving the need to buy new. Each ton of textiles that gets repurposed saves 20 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere!


5. BIODEGRADABLE PHONE CASE

Company: Mellow


The Montreal-based company, Mellow, creates phone cases from plant-based materials and is fully biodegradable once it’s no longer of use. The case is also highly protective despite its compostable materials, passing the 6-foot drop test onto concrete. It’s a gift that’s both functional and good for the planet.


Why We Love Them:

Did you know the average smartphone user changes devices once every two years? Of course with each new phone comes a new phone case (and usually a few more cases in between). For some, changing phone cases happens as often as changing outfits - that’s a lot of plastic if you think about it. Coming from the tech industry, Mellow’s founders created a solution with their revolutionary cases that directly eliminates the need for plastic creation of such a commonly used item.


They also donate 1% of their sales to Plastic Oceans Canada, a non-profit environmental organization whose goal is to build awareness about our environmental situation and foster tangible solutions through educational programs. Mellow hopes to help save the planet, one phone case at a time.


6. SOLAR-POWERED WATCH

Company: Solios

As the first B-Corporation-certified watch company, Solios has made a name for itself with its innovative solar-powered technology. With only a 2-hour exposure to light, it can create 6 months' worth of energy reserve! The Montreal Kickstarter impressed their audience so much that they tripled their campaign goal within one night.


Why We Love Them:

Solios' values are rooted in sustainability - in fact, that was how they got started - thinking of a business where founders, Alex and Sam, could find a way to make a positive impact on the world. Everything from their solar technology, to the materials used in the watches to their packaging and intentional operations. They have worked hard to eliminate single-use plastics from their whole supply chain.


The company also prides itself with every watch sold, one acre of forest gets restored through their partnership with the Rainforest Trust. They even offer a recycling program where buyers get $50 off a Solios watch simply by sending in an old watch. Solios is a truly sustainable brand that makes wearing it look good too.


We Welcome Your Help


Earlier we mentioned that it was quite difficult to find more items that would fit in this category. While we would love to feature more Canadian brands and products in this post that would make great gifts for a technology lover, we just weren’t able to find any! If there are any other Canadian-made eco-friendly gifts fit for techies that you think we've missed, we’re all ears.


Comment below or reach out to us via email, we’d love to hear from you!