Keyboard Builders' Digest
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Recycled aluminium keycaps

A video by flehrad drew my attention to Mountain Keyboards and their recycled keycaps.

While a general "Environmentally conscious keyboard enthusiast's guide" is being compiled, here is a related news from Australia:

Don from TheBoard introduced a recycled aluminium keycap in his last video. The creator, Mountain Keyboards, gives us a lesson not just in material choice but also in sustainable packaging and social responsibility.

First about recycled aluminium:

A lot of industries won't use recycled aluminium if they need it for structural strength and integrity. Because recycled material, depending on how it's done, may have defects. It may have inclusions in it, particulate matter in it that might contaminate the recycled material and therefore it might lose some of its strength inside – Don.

Recycled aluminium may have voids and cavities which can cause not just structural issues but also cosmetic blemishes. Which means its use is quite limited.

Montain Keyboards manufactured a test batch made of such recycled aluminium and the keycaps turned out pretty well.

In addition, look at that packaging! The keycap gets shipped in 100% home compostable mailer and it's wrapped in home compostable cellophane (NatureFlex - nomoreplasticpackaging.com.au).

I spent too long trying to find things that were specifically home compostable – OldMate.

What's even more spectacular, Mountain Keyboards donates the FULL purchase amount of the "For Good" keycap (the blank and flat red/maroon version) to the NSW Food Bank.

We will cover the cost of making the keycap and all the other fees involved. Every keycap sold will provide an emergency hamper to an aussie in crisis. You get a cool keycap with a story and know that you helped out someone in need.

What do they get out of the "For Good" keycap?

"Fair question, not a lot honestly, each keycap costs us around $10 without additional fees to get made and shipped. I've always just believed that the best thing you can do when you're in a fortunate position is to give to those who need a hand. There's a lot of people in a rough spot at the moment and with your help we should be able to provide some hampers for them" – 0ldMate.

Published on Sun 5th Sep 2021. Featured in KBD #42 (source).


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