DO COMPUTERS REDUCE POLLUTION OR MAKE IT WORSE? UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND WILDLIFE

greentechEveryone has seen the many ways computers and mobile technology have changed the way people interact with each other. This encompasses social, business, and leisure activities. But it is also changing the way people interact with their natural environment. In reality, there are numerous direct and indirect ways technological advancements are being used to alter the relationship between humans and the planet.

Pollution

With the majority of information now being viewed on phones and computer monitors, significantly less paper is needed for everyday life. Email has largely replaced traditional personal letters and office memos, while blogs and news sites are superseding newspapers and magazines, and electronic bill payment systems are taking over for paper bills and checks. Other forms of physical media are also falling by the wayside. Additionally, an increasing portion of music, television shows, and movies are being distributed digitally, instead of on plastic discs. On the down side, sometimes toxic discarded computing equipment is piling up at landfills. However, as the input materials are rather valuable, new recycling methods are being explored for the re-purposing of this waste.

Video Communication

In the past few years, real time digital broadcasting has achieved near universal accessibility. This has facilitated remote education and training for students, and remote conferencing for businesses. This translates to less car and plane travel, reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Electricity Use

Computing devices are a big consumer of electricity, but there have been many advancements in making them more energy efficient. This is a major focus of manufacturers, as the market favors products that can last longer with less battery charge. New technologies are also being used to reduce power consumption from traditional utilities. Computer programs are being used to manage energy grids more efficiently and avoid wasting power. Automated lighting and heating systems save energy by shutting off when they are not needed.

Information technologies also contribute indirectly to environmental health. The internet has connected academics, thinkers, and innovators from all over the world, allowing the them to share perspectives and develop ideas together. This promotes the development of new technologies, and allows more efficient solutions to be widely shared.

More Info

If you’d like more information on the advances on information technology and new programs and devices, check out tech blog We Hate Malware.  It has a plethora of information on personal computer use for those looking to either improve computer performance to conserve energy use, get their computer running faster again to run the latest apps, and more.  It’s a great resource for those looking to educate themselves on the vast world of technology and get up to speed on the latest and greatest.