The BBC have published an article outlining how digital technology is affecting the environment. They suggest a few changes that we can make personally which can help reduce our carbon emissions.
It is estimated that 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions are accounted for by the carbon footprint of electronic gadgets, the internet and systems that support these areas. A researcher at Lancaster University, Mike Hazas, explains that this is similar to the amount produced by the airline industry.
A report was produced by the University of Edinburgh in 2016 which shows that the carbon emissions produced in the manufacture of PCs amounted to 262kgCO2. The use of PCs produces 176kgCO2. These two areas make up the most emissions of carbon produced through the entire lifecycle of a PC. The entire lifecycle of a PC produced 523kgCO2, so the manufacture and use of a PC produced 438kgCO2 of carbon emissions. The rest is created from the shipping and disposal.
The BBC suggest a few small changes that we can make to help reduce the amount of emissions we produce. We are going to focus specifically on PCs here. These include:
As the title of the BBC article suggests, we should ditch the new tech and instead buy refurbished. Buying refurbished tech allows you to get the same quality device, at a lower price, and without harming the environment. You are helping to reduce the need to manufacture new goods, and at the same time, you are stopping used products from going to landfill.
In conclusion, there are many ways that we can use advancements in technology to help reduce our carbon footprint. However, we also need to understand that the digital devices we use also have a negative impact on the environment; with most carbon emissions coming from the manufacture of such devices. We need to use this knowledge to change our behaviour towards purchasing, for example buying refurbished rather than brand new. By doing this, we can use technology in the right way to reduce the amount of energy used and have a more positive impact on our environment.
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