7 Greener Options for Give-Away USB Flash Drives


Photo via oooms

Flash drives are becoming extremely cheap, and can hold ever larger amounts of information. In 2002, I "invested" in a 128MB flash drive for $54 from Costco. Just a few months ago at the same location, I picked up a three-pack of 2GB flash drives for a measly $30.

But really all I had to do to fulfill my flash drive need was hold off until the next trade show I attended, where 256MB and even 1G flash drives are handed out as media kits and giveaways; increasingly they're becoming a more popular item for promotional and branding items, or as novel ways to distribute press information. And while it's great to see swag coming in such a tiny, reusable form that helps to cut down on waste from trade shows and in businesses, it would be even better if we saw everyone using the greenest options possible. Luckily, ever more eco-friendly options are popping up. Below, we've gathered up some cool options for earthy drives.

Wood and Paper USB Flash Drives


The Wooden USB Stick

One obvious way to green a memory stick is to use an actual stick for the casing. While pretty pricey for a promo product, this is one memory stick no one will forget. Designed by OOOMS, the casing is made from sticks picked up in the woods and handmade into USB flash drives. They come in 1, 2 and 4 GB options.

The Woody Bamboo

Photo via Memotrek

While the name sounds a bit redundant, this flash drive isn't. It has a beautiful shape, a gorgeous finish, and comes with two box options that will make it stand out. Yes, the (really, really pretty) wood storage box might be a bit of a waste of wood, since most people don't use storage cases for their drives. But this one is so lovely that people just might put it away for safe keeping. It is available with up to 8 GB of storage, and can be laser engraved for a more refined promo piece.

Wood Flash Drive w/Lanyard

Photo via FarFromBoring

This stick is also set in a wood casing, but has a bit sleeker design. Available in sizes from 64 MB to 8 GB, and a variety of sustainable woods including redwood, walnut and maple, it offers businesses a variety of options. Considering it has a minimum data retention of 10 years, it may just outlast the business giving it away.

The Recycle

Photo via INF Import

Not too keen on wood and looking for something from recycled products? How about a drive made from recycled newspaper. The Recycle by INF Import is a very basic but noticeable flash drive that can hold anywhere from 512 MB to 16GB. It's a more eco-friendly option, and probably won't get ripped off since it isn't exactly the prettiest of memory sticks. We're not sure of the durability of this casing (what happens if it touches a damp cafe table?), but we still like the idea.

Next Page: Eco-Friendly Plastic Encased USB Flash Drives

Tags: Electronics | E-Waste | Gadgets