We all have a responsibility to protect the natural environment. Whether it's recycling at home, switching the car for the bus or bike, or opting for bars or shampoo instead of plastic bottles, there are hundreds of small switches we can make to reduce environmental harm.
And this also extends to vaping. Although the environmental impact of vaping might not be the first thing on your mind when buying e-cigarettes or e-liquid, it's important to consider how to make your vaping more sustainable.
Plus, switching to more sustainable habits can actually save you a lot of money. Don't believe us? Read on to learn how you can become a more eco-friendly vaper and how these easy switches are easier on the wallet.
Is vaping bad for the environment?
When considering the environmental impact of vaping, we must first look at the impact of cigarette smoking. The waste from tobacco cigarettes was once one of the most common types of plastic pollution in the world; trillions of new cigarette butts caused pollution to the natural world each year. Because the butts and filters of cigarettes are made of plastic, they end up as microplastic pollution in our soil and water. Moreover, after cigarettes are disposed of, they release dangerous chemicals into the environment which can cause harm to animal and human life.
So, is vaping better or worse than cigarette smoking for the environment? There has been little research on the topic so it's hard to say. However, we do know that unlike cigarette butts, vaping causes three different types of waste:
Many e-cigarettes and their packaging are made of non-biodegradable plastic that is hard to recycle. This plastic from disposable devices and pods causes a large amount of pollution.
The batteries in your vape will leak harmful and toxic compounds into the environment if you do not dispose of them properly. Lithium-ion batteries can also cause explosions and fires if not disposed of correctly.
E-liquid bottles and pods that have held nicotine cannot be recycled. Nicotine is considered a hazardous waste which can be harmful.
It's clear that unsafe disposal of vape related products can be harmful to the natural environment, even if the jury is still out on whether it's less harmful than cigarette smoking.
But, don't worry, it's still possible to vape in a more sustainable way by simply changing a few habits. Here are our top tips to be a more environmentally friendly vaper.
1. Ditch the disposables
The first thing you can do to ensure that you are vaping sustainably is to quit using disposable vape kits and upgrade to a reusable vape. While disposable vapes are a great option for ex-smokers starting on their vaping journey, they're not meant to be used for a long time.
There are many reasons that it's a good idea to ditch disposables:
- Using disposables means that vapers are sending a lot of plastic to landfill (including packaging and postage materials) each time they finish a vape
- Disposables are not a cost-effective way to vape - even with our excellent multi-buy offers it's still cheaper to invest in a good quality vape kit and e-liquid
- Reusable vape kits offer superior performance and customisation options so you can tailor your vape to your preferences
With all these benefits, there's no reason not to upgrade! Check out our full range of starter kits here to quit disposables today.
2. Opt for tanks over pods
Another way to improve the environmental sustainability of your vaping habit is to opt for long-lasting vape tanks instead of disposable pods. A glass tank will last you a long time, whereas vape pods will need to be replaced after only a few refills, leading to these contaminated pods ending up in landfill and causing harm to the environment.
Some new vapers may be intimidated by the need to change coils in a tank, but we can assure you that it's easier than it looks. With just a little practice, you'll be able to do it with your eyes closed.
If you're looking for a beginner-friendly vape device that uses a tank, check out our easy-to-use vape pens here. It doesn't get much simpler than these!
3. Recycle your batteries
Batteries are terrible for the environment if you throw them in the bin, but fortunately they are actually recyclable. In the UK, most supermarkets and local shops will have battery recycling facilities - just pop them in the battery recycling bin and they'll handle it for you.
4. Don't charge your vape overnight
To reduce your vaping carbon footprint, another thing you can do is resist charging your vape overnight. Leaving your vape on charge long after the battery is full is damaging in two ways:
- It wastes energy by trying to charge the e-cigarette when it's already full
- It damages your e-cigarette battery, reducing battery life and requiring you to buy new batteries more frequently
So, be careful to only charge your e-cigarette for the amount of time it needs. To help with this, choose an e-cig that charges rapidly and can easily charge during the day. You might even consider buying multiple e-cigarettes so you can swap out which one is on charge - while keeping an eye on charge levels of course!
Alternatively, opt for a smart battery charger such as the Nitecore Intellicharger i2 battery charger which detects your batteries and selects the appropriate charging voltage and current to charge them optimally.
5. Turn the e-cigarette off between uses
Following on from the previous point, another way to save your battery and energy use is by switching off your e-cigarette while you're not using it. This also has safety benefits, ensuring that the vape device does not accidentally fire in your pocket or bag!
6. Choose long-lasting devices
Another eco-friendly action is to buy longer-lasting devices to reduce vape waste. Not only will this help you cut down on the amount of waste you dispose of when the kit eventually dies, but it also saves you money because you will have to replace it less frequently.
It's worth opting for a durable and resilient vape that will last you longer and save you money in the long run. Look out for e-cigarettes with 'tri-proof' technology, meaning that it is waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof, such as the GeekVape Aegis Mini 2 Kit or the Freemax Marvos 60W Kit.
7. Buy bigger bottles of e-liquid
Because bottles of e-liquid are made of hard-to-recycle plastic, it's a good idea to buy larger bottles which produce comparatively less waste. Opt for a huge 200ml shortfill rather than lots of smaller bottles - for example the Just Jam 200ml range, the Cookie Nutz selection, or the lip-smacking e-juice from Flavour Raver.
Moreover, like many of the other pro-environmental actions on this list, buying e-liquid in bulk will actually save you money. Not sure which big bottles of e-liquid to buy? Read our guide to the best e-liquid shortfills to try this summer for inspiration!
8. Consider building your own coils
Building your own vape coils isn't for everyone, but if you can build it's a great way to reduce wastage!
A spool of coil wire will last you a long time, allowing you to make lots of coils for a cheaper price and with less packaging waste. Sure, it takes some practice to learn to make them yourself, but once you've got the technique down you'll be able to build vape coils whenever you want. Moreover, you can tailor your coils to create the specific build and resistance that you like, allowing for a totally customised vape.
Want to learn more about the benefits of DIY e-cigarette coils? Read our blog comparing DIY coils and pre-built coils here.
9. Group your purchases
Another behaviour that has clear environmental benefits is grouping your online vaping purchases together in a single order instead of multiple smaller ones. This reduces the waste and carbon footprint of packaging and transporting your products. After all, 40% of plastic waste that enters the environment comes from single-use packaging!
Plus, at Vaping 101 we offer free 48 hour delivery on all purchases over £50, so you can get your stuff quickly while saving money too!
10. Dispose of e-liquid safely
If you buy an e-liquid but don't like it, you can always gift it or exchange it with someone - just because you don't enjoy this e-liquid doesn't mean another vaper won't.
If you need to dispose of the e-liquid, make sure to get rid of it safely. Pouring it down the drain might be harmful to our water, especially if it contains nicotine, so don't do this. Disposing of it in the bin is also risky because it can cause contamination in landfill.
Instead, pour your vape juice into an absorbent material such as kitty litter or sawdust, place it in a compostable bag, and then put it in the bin. Disposing of your e-juice this way is far better for the environment.
Then, check if you can recycle the bottle - many recycling centres can take plastic e-liquid bottles - and dispose of it accordingly.
Although the full environmental impact of vaping still isn't clear, it's important that all vapers do what we can to be more eco-friendly. By changing some of our buying habits, recycling any vape products that are recyclable, and practising better battery charging, we can reduce the impact of our vaping on the environment.
Still not sure where to start? Contact us and we'll be happy to provide advice and recommendations to help you start your sustainable vaping journey!