From production, right through consumption to disposal, the environmental and ethical implications of technology are vast and far-reaching. Finding ways to use technology sustainably can feel overwhelming when we stop to consider the many steps along the way in the life of a product – from raw materials, production, transport and disposal, to issues with ‘green transparency’ of the companies that make them.
The good news is that there are exciting new green technology options and resources are popping up everywhere, allowing people to choose tech products that have been produced with sustainability in mind, and to take simple yet powerful steps to incorporate more sustainable practices into everyday tech use. Here are four ideas to explore.
Switch to Green Hosting
If you have a website, one of the simplest yet most powerful switches you can make is to move to a green hosting company. Brands like Krystal operate with 100% energy sources, meaning your website could be powered by the sun, wind, and sea. Based in London, Krystal offers an award-winning service that’s particularly popular among eco-conscious medical technology startups in the UK.
Choose Products Wisely
Look for the eco-labeled product! A labelling system to guide consumers towards a greener product choice is available from the Global Electronics Council. Products such as computers and displays, mobile phones, TVs, network and server equipment and more, displaying the Council’s EPEAT Ecolabel meet criteria across a number of areas. Other resources to use to help select products are Fairphone and Ethical Consumer.
Embrace Your Right to Repair
Wherever possible, consider repairing your tech instead of replacing it. Not only does this cut back on tech waste, which is particularly harmful for the environment, but it also allows you to support small local businesses who offer repair services.
Of course, many companies engage in planned obsolescence, making it next to impossible to avoid regular replacements. Thankfully, you can join movements like U.S. PIRG’s Right to Repair, which aims to combat the wasteful practice of planned obsolescence and empower independent operators to effectively service and repair our tech at reasonable prices.
Consider a sustainable office swap
Co-working spaces are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint as they allow you to pool resources with other like-minded workers. However, if you dig a little deeper, you may be able to find an eco-focussed co-working space, like Sustainable Valley. Nestled in Australia’s beautiful Byron Bay, Sustainable Valley is fully solar powered, meaning you can enjoy the air-conditioning, conference call facilities, presentation screens, and other tech 100% guilt-free.
More and more eco-friendly technology startups are popping up each year, aimed at supporting users in their quest to have a more positive impact on the world around. Take simple steps and explore more – every move in the right direction builds momentum.