More and more local brands are taking steps to becoming more environmentally friendly.

Whether it’s using biodegradable basic necessities or creating reusable items, making sustainable options more accessible to everyone is becoming the norm.

One college student created protective smartphone cases made with responsibly sourced materials.

As a phone case collector, 20-year-old Nicole Ong Oh realized that billions of pounds of plastic are being thrown into the landfills worldwide because of phone cases alone.

With her curious mind and passionate heart, Nicole researched some solutions to this problem.

She later learned about the limitless possibilities humans can make out of the durable bamboo tree like cutlery, toothbrushes and even straws.

“I’ve seen many companies make disposable or reusable everyday items such as cutlery, toothbrushes, tote bags and many more, but not a lot of people have studied about phone cases when in fact, we use our phones with cases every single day and it’s always in our hands,” shared Nicole.

After doing her research and running some tests, Nicole came up with a bamboo-based case with wheat and PLA, PBAT, both of which are plant-based biopolymers that have zero toxic residues. The materials have been tested to be safe and free from phthalates, BPA, cadmium and lead. With the ingredients used, it is 100 percent biodegradable and compostable within eight to 24 months. The cases come in different colors: wheat, noir, forest, turtle, sunshine and nude pink.

Aside from creating cases that don’t only protect one’s phone but also protect the environment, Nicole’s phone case shop called The Hub Cebu shares part of its biodegradable cases’ profit to Bayanihan Para Sa Magsasaka, a non-profit organization for the country’s unsung heroes—farmers. The brand shares part of its profits as well to other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Another Meal, Another Day, Project TsuperHero, and Para Kay Kuya.

Nicole aims to to innovate more gadget cases, create new designs using new materials and eventually, help more NGOs in the future.

Check out The Hub Cebu @thehubcebu on Instagram.