For all of their touting about saving on paper, the majority of computers are made from non-earth friendly materials and will rot in landfills practically forever. Also, they are not made to last and must be replaced nearly every year or two. They are much worse than paper. Iphones (the latest computer craze) and similar devices use precious natural resources such as crude oil, copper, gold, palladium, silicon. Paper is natural and can come from sustainable renewable sources. Paper is much more easily recyclable.
Computers are not people friendly either and we are part of the eco-system. IT gurus are now controlling the pace of life and it is getting out of control. America and the rest of the world is extremely stressed out and the overwhelmingly fast pace of life is a major factor to blame. Just because new technologies come out does not mean they are more earth friendly.
I am not anti-tech, but I believe everyone would be better served if computers and IT tech were marginalized. I can only hope they have reached the peak of their influence on our lives and they will begin to retreat. I believe lessening the influence of computers and IT will bring us closer together, allow us to be less stressed, and be a more earth friendly and natural/organic based society.
Wake up; newer is not always better for you or for Mother Earth.
A computer, the most prominent product of information technology, is constantly evolving, which necessitates buying a newer model. I would guess that the lifespan of the average computer is five years. In comparison, other home-based electric units, like a refrigerator or television set, have been known to last over two decades. The prime purpose of the short life of a computer is profit. The information technology hardware manufacturers don't care if thousands of abandoned computer parts are buried in dumps and landfills, unnecessarily polluting our environment for generations to come. They only care about making a buck. A short lifespan means purchasing a newer model, and this means increased revenue for the major manufacturers of information technology hardware.
The amount of technological hardware waste is out of control. It has been reported that the waste is affecting our ground water, since the material leaks dangerous material once it is broken or crushed at a landfill. There are some companies who claim to be environmentally friendly and claim to recycle old equipment. But, research has found that the items are being shipped to third-world countries, and being broken down in unsafe and environmentally hazardous ways. It is affecting the welfare of the citizens of those countries. The best way to be rid of these materials is to actually reuse them and reduce the amount of manufacturing of new hardware items.
While today's technology has become more streamlined, efficient, and uses less power, it still takes a significant toll on our power consumption. Because tech products, such as cell phones, computers, and tablet PCs, consume significant power, which requires either being plugged in or recharging, there needs to be a greater emphasis on making technology friendly to alternative energy. Without this, we use a significant amount of oil, coal, and nuclear power to bring power to our homes to use these devices. All portable devices should be equipped with solar panels, or come with a free solar charger, that can help with recharging the devices.
These industries pump out the newest and most improved items every other week, and there are some people out there that just throw away their old stuff to get the new stuff. The companies should offer a discount to these people that turn in their old stuff, to get a lower price on the new stuff. Then, the companies should reuse those old computers or phones, somehow, in the production of their next bigger and better thing.
The major manufacturers of information technology hardware need to work more toward making their products and hardware more eco-friendly. Money received in profits should be partially spent on developing earth-friendly materials to use. Computers and peripheral equipment is still difficult to dispose of, and makes a mess of landfills. Computers become outdated so quickly that donating them to schools no longer becomes an option, as the students need the latest and greatest.
Manufacturers need to guarantee that they are doing their part on behalf of the environment. So often we read of an accident at a plant or a site and then come to find in the investigation that actions plans weren't followed or that someone was paid not to follow up. Manufacturers are just as responsible as regular citizens to keep the environment safe for our families and theirs.
I think manufacturers need to be more pro-active in developing newer methods of production that continue to reduce our biological footprint as a whole. To be eco-friendly is one thing, to be eco-conscious is another; we need to be able to 'err on the side of caution' when it comes to future production that impacts our environment.
Many major manufactures of information-technology are moving towards eco-friendly products. A perfect example of this would be in the cell phone market. I was recently in a cell phone store and noticed at least one eco-friendly product per manufacturer. I believe this is evidence that major companies are moving towards more eco-friendly products.
Information technology manufacturers have the main priority of selling their products. Being eco-friendly is not as high of a priority to them, although there is increasing pressure to change that. Major manufacturers focus is on the bottom line, which is not compatible with being eco-friendly as it stands today. Companies unfortunately need to make a choice between making money or being friendly to the environment. Things are improving, but not enough is being done yet.
Were they manufacturing petroleum products or cigarettes then, perhaps, there may be some question as to their level of eco-friendly manufacturing. Also, if we're going to target "information-technology hardware", then wouldn't we include all hardware manufacturers, and not just those whose focus is strictly info-technology?
Major manufacturers of information-technology hardware always consider the environmental impact whenever possible. This can include both choosing the least toxic effective materials, and recycling as many of the materials as possible. Most of today's electronics have so much greater capacity for their size and possibly toxic content that the environmental impact is greatly reduced. While there is still more work to be done in finding more environmentally-friendly materials that will still be reliable, research is continuous. It is also hard to understate the amount of environmental impact that is prevented by simply being able to shop (and even work) from home, completely bypassing the daily commute. The only major improvement would be to increase the emphasis on reliability and integrate an upgrade capacity in more information-technology hardware, so we could simply keep and use them much longer.
Information technology is not a physical thing. it's all hypothetical or bits and pieces. It's either stored or it's data. I don't see any reason why it would have anything to do with being eco-friendly. I guess the only thing that could be related to eco-friendliness is the actual storage device the information is stored on. But normally that is secured.
Few manufacturers of information-technology hardware are using solar energy for power. In addition, few are focusing on ways to make products more recyclable or reusable. While there are some ways to reuse these items, it is hard to do, and consumers don't know a lot about how or where to do this. So the companies can do a better job of educating consumers, and making their products more Eco-friendly for consumers.