Why Not? Optical Equipment Should be as Green as Possible Too
Like Michael d'Estries, I can't say that I ever thought about binoculars are contributing to environment degradation before, but looking at what Nikon did with its Ecobins "green binoculars", it seems like a definitive improvement over the status quo. First, they start with the lead and arsenic-free lenses and prisms (which they call Eco-Glass), then there's the rubber which is chloride free, and doesn't contain toxic inks or dyes.
The case and strap are made from biodegradable a material, Tencel, which is produced from sustainable Eucalyptus forests.
Even the packaging is made from 85% post-consumer waste and printed on recyclable FiberStone® paper!
The Niko Ecobins cost about $170 (on Amazon). But remember! The greenest binoculars are those that you already own, or second-hand ones. So if you need binoculars, don't quite run out to buy those just yet. But if you had good reasons to look for a new pair, this model certainly has a lot going for it in the green department.
I hope that Nikon will use what it learned with the Ecobins and use it with its other products, and that other makers of optical equipment will take notes.
Check out Nikon's official Ecobins website.