The United Pepper Lili Webcam is one of the first sustainable design electronics, and certainly the first sustainable webcam I’ve come across.
Made from sand, cotton and kapok, the Belgian designers (it’s manufactured in Vietnam) have tried to remove as much plastic as possible. 70% of the material is Fair Trade, and it comes in recycled (PET) packaging.
As a webcam itself it’s not bad. A 1.3 megapixel camera does the job as a webcam but don’t expect to be producing quality recordings with it. It has a built in microphone and when communicating with family it works great, though the colors can be a little washed out. The sand filled legs are flexible that makes it easier to position on difficult surfaces.
The test version I’ve got strangely has a seperate plug for the microphone socket, as well as the USB connector, though I’m not sure if it’s like that in the final product. Installation was on a minin-CD and was pretty simple though novices might find the lack of clear English and full instructions a little tricky. It has a manual focus lens too which actually made some things easier to see than my much more expensive webcam.
Overall, for a simple webcam with a built in microphone you can do worse, and for a sustainable webcam, you can’t do better. Available for $45 or €40 from United Pepper.