We explore how the rising environmental cost of digital devices is being addressed. Electronic waste is the fastest growing category of waste. Circular economy thinking is getting traction and sustainability solutions for digital and hardware technology is more and more accessible. We look at some of the most impactful innovation happening in this space and what more can be done.
Fairphone is leading the way in building mobile phones that is as sustainable as possible. Their modular design, and design for durability with ethical sustainable material is now being noticed by the industry. Their approach of selling spare parts, providing repair tutorials and recollection is leading edge.
The repair economy for the electrical and electronic devices is still at its infancy but it is gaining momentum.
Restart Project organises repair parties to help people repair electronics while learning repair and maintenance skills. They empower people to use their electronics longer in order to reduce waste. They have also started collecting data on the repairability of devices on their Fixometer app to support their online community and this is a great start to changing the industry.
iFixit is a thriving online community of people fixing electronics. They have created a detailed wiki style step-by-step guide, troubleshooting tips and community of technicians.
Repurpose Mobile Phones
Getperch is helping people turn devices (laptops, tablets, cameras, old phones) into smart home monitors. Their software works with Samsung’s SmartThing home automation systems and promises to work quick enough to have real time video monitoring and interactivity.
New washing machines are now connected and becoming part of the smart home offering. Companies such as Bundles are using predictive maintenance to extend the life of washing machines and selling washing and drying subscription service to their appliances.
All that is powering our modern IT infrastructure is run on computer servers and much of the energy consumed in used to cool the servers. Nerdalize is combining cloud computing service and home heating service via their eRadiators therefore ensuring energy is used more efficiently.
With computing servers contributing about 5% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, there is always more to do to improve the sustainability of the web. The Green Web Foundation provides a list of green hosting providers which are hosting providers that are 100% powered by renewable energy — solar, wind, geothermal. Ecograder is a website energy efficiency checker guiding you to reduce the environmental impact of your website.
So, what do you think of the sustainability innovation in the IT space itself?
If you have missed the previous post in this series, head back to read here:
Day 1 of XMas — Food Waste Apps
Day 2 of XMas — Air Quality Apps
Day 3 of XMas — Transport Services
Day 4 of XMas — Electric Vehicles
Day 5 of XMas — Crowd Delivery
Day 6 of XMas — Local Food Systems
Day 7 of XMas — Reforestation, Tree Planting and Crowdfarming
Day 8 of XMas — Crowdfunding & Fintech for Good
Day 9 of XMas — Sustainable Fashion
Day 10 of XMas — Circular Economy
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This series is written in collaboration with the 6heads community. 6headsis dedicated to shared learning at the join of sustainability and innovation.