A number of issues preoccupy me these days. And my hearing and sustainability rank highly on that long list. So when this Happy Ears Kickstarter landed in the press@ inbox, It grabbed my attention.
To explain — after denying it for far too long, I’ve been diagnosed with partial hearing loss to the point of needing hearing aids just to hold a conversation without endless pardons and sorrys. It’s largely hereditary — thanks Dad — but I cannot help but think that my chosen pastime and career path may well have contributed to this premature diminishment of my built-in aural capacity.
Recycling has been a hot topic for me for many years too. Both myself and my better half have worked in the packaging industry, and it has irked us both just how much stuff is produced that essentially ends up as landfill. Things are better than they were at that time, but there’s a very long way to go.
Enter Happy Ears. They’ve been making reusable earplugs for a while now, but have launched a new product — earplugs made from recycled materials. It’s currently on Kickstarter for 10 more days, and although having reached the modest target, it could definitely do with a little more love, especially from the DJ community that’s plagued by damaged hearing.
There’s nothing I don’t like about this launch. The Happy Ears brand is gorgeous, and the reviews reveal it to definitely be style and substance. And now sustainability too.
The challenges of making such a product are many. For example, existing Happy Ears plugs are made from a translucent material. But to adopt a recycled approach means taking source material and doing as little as possible to it to make it suitable for plugging into your ears. As they say, they could have added colour to the product to make it prettier, but that takes away from the ethos of the product.
I’m also happy to see that this stretches to other parts of the package too. These are designed so that you don’t have to keep replacing parts to keep them going. You buy once, and use them until you can’t. Also the paper they come in is not only recyclable but also compostable. It’s these small details that add up to make a better product.
Given the state of my own hearing, I would urge people in the strongest possible terms to do everything possible to take care of their own hearing, and if possible do it by supporting products that look after the planet too. You’ve still got 9 days to get in on the crowdfunding Kickstarter action.