But there are ways it can be twisted from something problematic, into something productive. Environmental gadgets, electrics and life-enhancers are a way to fuse your ethics with contemporary life.
We especially love the below:
A solar phone charger
You can be as eco as you like at home, but keeping it up when you’re out and about is a lot harder – especially when you’re travelling or at a festival. Taking solar power away from just your home and bringing it to your phone is a move that not only has a positive impact on the planet, it also means you won’t forever be searching for a socket. Double win.
PowerPlus Camel 3 Watt Multi Item USB Solar Charger, £24.95, ethicalsuperstore.com
A person-powered espresso maker
Yes, you can make electricity-free coffee in an Aeropress or a cafetiere. But espresso is a different matter. You tend to need a fancy machine (the type they have in coffee shops) or a coffee pod situation. The ROK espresso maker is a manual affair.
You plug your grounds in, below a cylinder of hot water, before pulling the arms down to force the water through the beans, creating a double shot.
ROK espresso maker, £149, rokkitchentools.com
A bamboo speaker
No, not a joke. An actual speaker made from the ultimate eco material, bamboo. Amplifying your iPhone’s sound without any power, you can get one that fits any of the models and can turn you into an actual eco cliche.
iBamboo speaker, from approx £18.90, plus shipping, ibamboospeaker.com
A smart plug
This clever plug connects to an app, which allows you to turn off your electronic devices from anywhere. No more frittering away endless energy, while you’re at work.
WeMo Switch, £41.99, uk.insight.com
An ethical phone
As well as being crafted from conflict-free minerals, Fairphone’s wares are all modular. This means that if you break one part, you can replace it in isolation – no need for a new device. Trying to combat the issue of planned obsolescence in tech, these guys are the future.
Fairphone 2, £460, shop.fairphone.com
An electricity-free slow cooker
Invented more for camping types than anyone else, this power-free slow cooker has the brilliant bonus of being eco-friendly. Stick your ingredients into a pan, bring everything to the boil, and remove from the heat. Wrap up the bag, and the heat retention keeps your meal cooking for up to 12 hours, without burning through energy.
Wonderbag, £34-45, thewonderonderbagshop.com