The issue of environmental protection has become increasingly important. In all areas of our life, we are looking for ways to support sustainability so here are some simple steps you can take to use your technology to help make the world more sustainable.
Use your device’s power and battery efficiency settings to cut down on the amount of power it uses. Simple things like turning down the screen brightness or putting your device to sleep as soon as you stop using it all help. Don’t charge your device too much; keep your battery’s charge between 20–80% to maximise its life.
When using the web, consider prioritising websites that have strong green credentials. The tech giants we can’t avoid – Microsoft, Google, Apple and Amazon – have committed to becoming carbon neutral, or negative, in the next few years. For other websites, use tools like the Website Carbon Calculator or the Website Footprint browser extension to assess their sustainability.
Offset your usage
As recommended by MakeUseOf, apps such as Ecosia (which I’ve written about before) and OurForest fund tree planting using the profits from ads shown when you search or simply open a tab in your browser.
Reduce paper usage
Take notes and write documents digitally. Don’t print emails or documents unless it’s essential. Read digital rather than physical books. You don’t need a new device; just use one of the free ebook reader apps on your smartphone or tablet. This not only saves trees but also reduces the energy and resources required to produce paper.
Electronic waste is a growing problem, with millions of tons generated every year. Reduce e-waste and its negative impact on the environment by using devices for as long as possible and disposing of them responsibly. Companies such as Southampton-based Jamie’s Computers, a social enterprise, ‘professionally and ethically recycle a wide range of IT and computer equipment’. Recycle consumables such as ink cartridges; most printer manufacturers have free recycling programmes for genuine cartridges. I’ve also sometimes seen printer ink recycling envelopes in Tesco.
Technology in a sustainable world
Our devices can be a tool in the fight against climate change and the protection of our planet. By using them responsibly, we can reduce our impact on the environment. They can also help us stay informed and engaged, letting us research eco-friendly products, read about sustainable living and connect with like-minded individuals and organisations. Let’s harness the power of technology to support a more sustainable world, for ourselves and for future generations.