As we all know, technology has helped us in so many ways… we are more connected and informed than ever before. Things have become more convenient and much quicker, but has technology made a positive impact on mother earth? As we approach Earth Day, it’s nice to realize that some of these fancy gadgets we use for convenience are also helping to lighten our environmental footprint. You may be going green without even knowing it!
Consolidating by Going Digital
Digitization and consolidation have allowed us to carry digital versions of our favorite songs, books, pictures, maps and more on one little device. Before, you would have to carry these individual items in a large bag and haul them around from one place to another. Since we can download books, music and just about everything else, fewer resources are being used up to get you the same end result. Your one smartphone now serves as your phone, music player, alarm clock, watch, camera, GPS, personal planner and much more… that’s 7 different items that have been consolidated into one item. Tablets add to that by serving as e-readers, gaming consoles and have even been replacing home computers. The more features you use on your smart phone or tablet translates to you buying less additional gadgets and lowering your environmental impact!
There are many ways to recycle electronics. You can wipe them clean and resell them (just make sure that all of your data is in fact irretrievable), or purchase a previously used device, or donate your electronics to a school… all reducing the overall environmental footprint by giving that device a second life. By recycling and reusing less new items will have to be made. Thanks to technology this has become a more global marketplace allowing us to recycle around the world, whatever you need can be found with quick search and find a previously owned one on the internet. And of course don’t forget about refurbished items. There are a lot of sites out there that will take your devices (give you cash for said devices), refurbish them and then resell them. Refurbished items are a great way to make sure that you are getting a quality device which will last you a long time.
Now this one is still a bit in the future for your everyday Joe but it is rapidly becoming more accessible. With the amazing invention of 3D printing, you are able to “print” exactly what you need, when you need it. So, hopefully this will create less waste as we exchange mass production for individual 3D print-outs.
Technology has allowed us to go green without even knowing it by helping us be more efficient, reduce the electronic clutter in our lives, utilize our resources and easily share helpful information. We’re able to do more while wasting less.