How Computer Geeks -> Go Green

Computers and technology have increased quality of life immensely, but it is no secret that electronics aren’t good for environment. The amount of resources required to create and maintain these often fleeting devices is immense.  We have an obligation to protect and sustain our natural world – if nothing else, it is paramount to our survival. But beyond the obvious “design websites for eco-sites” what can computer scientists, engineers, and programmers do to help  promote environmental sustainability and/or green living?  

  •    Create hardware that is more sustainable
    • Designing electronics that use less electricity, are made with more green minerals and resources, created in ways that are less harmful to the environment, and/or are longer lasting are some great examples.
    • This very cool personal solar powered charger is another.
  •    Create software (and hardware) researchers can use in their studies
    • Many researchers find the programs they have to use are frustrating, out of date,  or require specialty equipment for things easily done on a  phone
    • Specialty software is often necessary required to fully analyze the data
    • A supercomputer was required to assess and monitor climate patterns for the whole world
  • Create apps and games that promote green living
    • Education is pivotal to understanding  which is a necessity to change. These NASA apps are a prime sampling.
    • In addition apps that encourage and enable sustainable living practices are also super important. Many provide reminders, tips, and reminders for green living, some actually provide rewards for following through. Finally others actually help monitor and maintain those eco-friendly choices, with smart lights, heating, etc.
    • The Huffington Post and Treehugger have lists of some good starter apps
  • Demanding green tech
    • Until the consumers want those products, the chances of them being produced is almost nil. It starts with the experts, the technophiles, and the creators showing  what could be.

But actually, in the end, designing those websites isn’t so bad. People need to be able to easily be able to access the information and the best way is through the internet. And someone has got to be behind the webpage.


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