Digital Electronics and Renewable Energy Go Hand In Hand
Someone once said “It takes money to make money,” and that is mostly true. Today, we might add, “It takes energy to make money,” with reference to all the wondrous digital electronics we use every day to conduct business and create things. Problem is that it can take quite a lot of energy to run all the computers, peripherals, big screen display and multimedia installations in our homes and offices. And a bunch more to keep all those cell phones, digital cameras, GPS systems, iPods and handheld gaming systems charged and ready to go. So while the cost of energy keeps rising, and more and more people realize that climate changes, pollution and diminishing oil reserves demand a move towards renewable energy sources, we consume more and more with all of our beloved electronics.
Does that mean that the very progress that brought us the wonderful world of digital electronics is also digging us into a deeper and deeper hole of energy dependence and spiraling monetary and environmental costs? It doesn’t have to be that way. Business and the environment do not have to be at odds. There is, in fact, a green electronics movement that seeks to make our beloved electronics more energy efficient and environmentally friendlier. The movement covers the entire spectrum from huge international conglomerates pledging to recycle, reuse and conserve, all the way to electronics being more energy-efficient and either bio-degradable or easier to recycle, thus reducing what is now called “e-waste” from millions of tons of landfill to reused and recycled resources.
Saving energy and recycling makes perfect sense, and it’s no surprise that there are now companies devoting themselves to green electronics and energy sustainability. After all, it’s good PR and makes economic sense. But it goes farther than that. There are now even companies that sell both digital electronics AND renewable energy products. It’s easy to see how a firm belief in renewable energy, conservation and sound energy policies may drive an environmentally conscious business owner to sell items like solar and wind energy products as well as digital electronics made by companies that have realized that business and society are interdependent and thus embraced green technology.
What is “green technology?” It can be products certified for low emissions, products certified to be more energy-efficient (like the Energy Star pledge and standard), or products using solar chargers or other energy saving technologies. It can also mean support of companies that are actively “going green” by increasing recyclable content, removing environmentally harmful substances, using renewable energy in the production cycle, and supporting environmental conservation causes and projects.
Why would companies go green? Because it’s not only the right thing to do, but also because it’s an increasing competitive advantage to be seen as a green company that cares about the environment. Just like a lot of consumers reject pesticides and insist on organically grown food products, more and more consumers insist on buying green, energy-efficient technology from companies that care. It’s good to know that megahits like iPhones and Wii gaming consoles are made by such companies.
What we’re seeing here is really an inevitable, accelerating trend towards smarter, greener and more efficient and conscientious consumption. We all must fight waste and embrace clean, sustainable, renewable energy.