Are There Mechanical Keyboards Made with Sustainable Materials?

April 9, 2024

Well, somewhat. Specific models or brands of mechanical keyboards made entirely from sustainable materials are not widespread or readily available. However, the world continues to embrace the Green Revolution, and manufacturers are making efforts to incorporate sustainability and environmental awareness into their products.

As per my experience and research, these are some keyboard brands that have shown commitments to sustainability or have offered eco-friendly options:

  1. Das Keyboard: Das Keyboard incorporates recycled materials into some of its keyboard models. They also focus on durability and longevity, which contributes to sustainability.
  2. Logitech: While Logitech is not exclusively a mechanical keyboard manufacturer, the company has been committed to sustainability initiatives across its product range. Some of their keyboards may incorporate recycled materials, and the company has set ambitious environmental goals.
  3. Lofree: Lofree is a brand that has gained attention for its retro-styled mechanical keyboards. The manufacturer has incorporated eco-friendly materials into some of their products.
  4. Varmilo: Varmilo has offered keyboards with bamboo cases, which is a renewable and sustainable material. While not their entire product line, this option provides a more eco-friendly choice for consumers.
  5. Hexgears: Hexgears has introduced keyboards made with recycled plastic in some of their models.
  6. Keychron: Keychron has been known for making wireless mechanical keyboards, which can contribute to energy efficiency compared to wired counterparts. 

Sustainability efforts in the tech industry continue to evolve, so keep an eye on updates and new releases from manufacturers regarding their environmental initiatives. 

Can Mechanical Keyboards Be Made Using Sustainable Materials?

Like many products, mechanical keyboards can be made using sustainable materials. Traditional construction of mechanical keyboards often involves plastics and metals, but there are indeed sustainable alternatives available or in development. Let's check out some examples of sustainable materials that can be used in the construction of mechanical keyboards:

  1. Recycled Plastic: Manufacturers often use recycled plastic in keyboard casings, keycaps, and other components. Recycled plastic reduces the demand for new plastic production and helps divert waste from landfills.
  2. Bamboo: Bamboo is a renewable resource that can be used for keyboard casings. It grows quickly and can be harvested without causing significant environmental damage.
  3. Wood: Sustainable wood sources, such as FSC-certified wood, can be used for keyboard casings and wrist rests. Wood is biodegradable and adds a natural aesthetic to keyboards.
  4. Bioplastics: Bioplastics are derived from renewable resources such as cornstarch, sugarcane, or algae. They can be used as an alternative to traditional plastics in keyboard components.
  5. Aluminum: Aluminum is a durable and recyclable material that can be used for keyboard frames and housings. Recycled aluminum reduces the energy and environmental impact of mining and refining new aluminum.
  6. Natural Fabrics: Natural fabrics like cotton or linen can be used for keyboard wristrests or keycap pullers. These materials are biodegradable and can be sustainably sourced.
  7. Recycled Metals: Manufacturers can use recycled metals such as aluminum or steel in keyboard components like switches or stabilizers. Recycling metals reduces the need for mining and reduces energy consumption.

What Are the Most Sustainable Switch Options for Keyboards?

Have you considered the sustainability of the switches it uses? These are the backbone of your keyboard's performance, and their environmental impact can be significant.

Mechanical keyboard switches may not be inherently "sustainable" in the same way materials can be. Switches may be considered environmentally friendly by their design, longevity, and potential for recycling. 

  1. Durability: Switches designed to last longer and withstand more keystrokes are inherently more sustainable since they reduce the need for frequent replacements and minimize electronic waste. Mechanical switches, in general, tend to be more durable than membrane switches.
  2. Recyclability: Switches made from easily recyclable materials such as metals like aluminum or plastics with recycling codes can be considered sustainable by facilitating the recycling process at the end of their lifespan.
  3. Energy Efficiency: Switches that require less power can contribute to overall energy efficiency.
  4. Manufacturing Process: Switches produced using environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and materials with minimal environmental impact can be considered sustainable. 
  5. Low-Toxicity Materials: From an environmental standpoint, switches made from materials with low toxicity levels are preferred. They reduce the potential for harmful chemicals to enter the environment during production or disposal.

There is no specific mechanical keyboard switch brand or model marketed as "environmentally sustainable." However, these switch brands and models are considered to be sustainable. 

  1. Cherry MX Switches with Recycled Materials: Cherry, a well-known manufacturer of mechanical switches, has introduced MX switches with housings made from recycled plastic. These switches offer the same performance as traditional Cherry MX switches but incorporate recycled materials.
  2. NovelKeys Cream Switches: NovelKeys Cream switches are not marketed explicitly as environmentally sustainable, but their simple construction with minimal components contributes to easier recycling.
  3. Gateron Optical Switches: Gateron Optical switches use an infrared light beam to register keystrokes, eliminating the need for physical metal contacts commonly found in traditional mechanical switches. This design reduces wear and tear over time, extending the switch's lifespan and reducing the consumption of materials during construction.
  4. ZealPC Healios Switches: ZealPC Healios switches are known for their smooth and quiet operation. Their durable construction and long lifespan reduce the accumulation of electronic waste compared to switches that wear out more quickly.
  5. Kailh BOX Switches: Kailh BOX switches feature a unique design with a protective box around the internal components. This design prolongs the lifespan of the switches and reduces e-waste.

How Can Consumers Contribute to Sustainable Keyboard Usage?

a man typing on a mechanical keyboard

You can be an environmental preservation advocate even if you are gaming or typing. As a consumer, you can contribute to sustainable keyboard usage in several ways:

  1. Choose sustainable brands: Support keyboard manufacturers that prioritize sustainability in their products and operations. Look for companies that use eco-friendly materials, minimize packaging waste, and implement environmentally responsible practices throughout their supply chain.
  2. Opt for durable keyboards: Invest in high-quality keyboards that are built to last. Mechanical keyboards have longer lifespans than membrane keyboards. By choosing a durable mechanical keyboard, you can reduce the frequency of replacements and minimize electronic waste.
  3. Repair and maintain: Instead of replacing a keyboard at the first sign of trouble, consider repairing it. Many keyboard issues such as malfunctioning switches or worn-out keycaps can be fixed with simple repairs or replacements. Regular cleaning and maintenance can extend the lifespan of your keyboard as well.
  4. Recycle responsibly: When it's time to replace your keyboard, dispose of it responsibly. Look for electronic waste recycling programs in your area or ask local recycling centers about proper disposal methods for electronic devices. Some manufacturers also offer take-back programs or recycling initiatives for their products.
  5. Reduce energy consumption: Choose energy-efficient keyboards or features that help minimize power consumption. Wireless keyboards with sleep modes or automatic power-off functions are ideal options.
  6. Minimize packaging waste: Choose keyboards with minimal packaging or packaging made from recyclable materials. Go for products with eco-friendly packaging or packaging that can be reused or recycled.

What Is the Future of Sustainable Materials in Mechanical Keyboards?

Environmentalist Rachel Carson said, "In nature, nothing exists alone." Each choice we make, including the seemingly mundane idea of choosing a mechanical keyboard, can contribute to a more sustainable environment.

The future of sustainable materials in mechanical keyboards is bright as manufacturers gear for continued innovation. As environmental awareness grows and consumer demand for eco-friendly products increases, we might see some of these potential trends soon:

  1. Advancements in Material Science: Research and development efforts will likely focus on creating new sustainable materials specifically tailored for use in mechanical keyboards. This could include biodegradable plastics, plant-based polymers, or materials made from renewable resources.
  2. Recycled and Upcycled Materials: Manufacturers may increasingly use recycled or upcycled materials in keyboard construction to reduce reliance on virgin resources and minimize waste. 
  3. Circular Design Principles: Designing keyboards with a focus on circular economy principles such as modularity, repairability, and recyclability will become more prevalent. Keyboards designed for easy disassembly and component replacement will extend product lifespans and facilitate end-of-life recycling.
  4. Certifications and Standards: Industry-wide certifications and standards for sustainable keyboards may emerge, helping consumers identify products that meet specific environmental criteria. These certifications could cover aspects including material sourcing, manufacturing processes, and end-of-life disposal.
  5. Collaborations and Partnerships: Collaboration between keyboard manufacturers, material suppliers, and environmental organizations will drive innovation and promote best practices in sustainable design and production. 
  6. Consumer Education and Awareness: Increased consumer education and awareness campaigns will highlight the environmental impact of keyboard usage and empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions. 
  7. Regulatory Pressures: Regulatory pressures such as government mandates or industry regulations may incentivize keyboard manufacturers to adopt more sustainable practices and materials. 


Mechanical keyboards created from sustainable materials exist, but they are not advertised as such. They are also not widely available. Their sustainability may come from other factors such as their durability, long life, and modularity.

But the future is filled with innovations with a sharp focus on preserving Mother Nature. Thus, the future seems bright for environmentally friendly keyboards with new developments on the way.

Chris Greiner, a Mechanical Keyboard specialist, boasts a solid educational background with dual bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Business Management from Lewis University. His additional certification in Mechanical Keyboard Design showcases his dedication to staying on the forefront of keyboard technology. Chris primarily writes for keyboard enthusiasts and has been featured on platforms like Jestik, solidifying his reputation as a thought leader in the mechanical keyboard community.
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