For years, the consumer electronics industry has taken a bad rap with the green community – and deservedly so. Cheap electronics components eat up considerable natural resources, need cheap labor to produce, and until recently, have been designed to be “throw-aways” when the latest and greatest widget comes along.
Nothing is ever black and white, or all bad without traces of good. The world is full of grey areas, and electronics also create positive change.
When driving to an new destination the other day, I noticed that I used much less gas because of my GPS than I normally would. In the old days before Google maps and GPS technology, I used to get lost at least once, call on my cell phone or stop at the gas station to get directions, and generally take more time and fuel than necessary.
Some will say this is just spatial ineptness – but I am willing to bet that others have had this problem too!
I estimate that on the average, I save anywhere from 10-20 gallons of gas per month because of my GPS.
Other ways that innovations in electronics technology are impacting the earth in a positive way is through the use of LED lighting. AT&T just announced that it is switching its store signage lights to LED technology – and this will save 3,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. LED lighting is up to 80% more efficient than traditional neon lighting.
Although the electronics industry has some catching up to do in terms of sustainability, I am hopeful that all the bright minds comprising this space will find innovative solutions to help, instead of harm, the earth.
[Photo Credit: www.wikipedia.com]