How Green Are You?

Are You Going Green? – The editor in chief, Katherine Ciner, of the Guardian news and media outlet (UK) recently distributed an internal memo detailing a change in the style guide to all the writers making a review to the language they use when covering climate change.

In a memo, the editor in chief outlines how passive and gentle the term “Climate Change” is publicly used whenever the scientists, the UN and the Politicians are talking about it as the world’s catastrophe. As a result, the editor has recommended that the following changes must be made: Recently I hope you will have seen the people conversation entirely change when it comes to Global Heating and our effects on the environment.

Use Climate Emergency, crisis or breakdown instead of Climate Change.
Use Global Heating instead of global warming.
Use Wildlife instead of biodiversity.
Use Fish populations instead of fish stocks.
Use Climate Science Denier, or Climate denier instead of climate sceptic.

Carbon Dioxide was recently recorded at 415 parts per million  the highest ever level it has been in human history. Human impact on the Climate has been so total the geological period of time we are currently in is referred to as the Anthropocene Epoch (the Human-Age). The environment is no longer the decider of the climate, it is entirely human controlled and influenced.

“Scientists warn that if we (humans) don’t make drastic changes then we could see a run-away greenhouse effect where we won’t be able to prevent global ecological collapse

Every aspect of human consumption is now rightfully under the microscope. People are looking very intently at how we are using our limited resources and the effects that it is having on the environment. Designers are starting to take an approach referred to as “Green Product Innovation”, also Green Process Innovation or simply abbreviated to GPI.

GPI refers to new or modified processes, techniques, systems, and products to avoid or reduce environmental harm. It is absolutely crucial businesses begin to adopt these types of Green focused processes or approaches to ensure we do everything in our power to reduce our impact on the environment.

A particular area I am going to focus on is computing. Moore’s law states ( that the power of a computer doubles each subsequent generation. So far this has proven very true computing power has doubled each generation, as a result, computing cost has also gone way down, but an unfortunate side effect is we now have significantly more computers that are getting more and more powerful each generation. As a result, the energy demands created by these computers has also increased drastically. This could be considered a drastic waste in energy putting huge amounts of pressure on the environment.

For instance, Bitcoin mining (the process of running calculations to generate a block in the blockchain resulting in the creation of a bitcoin) consumed as much energy global as the total energy consumption of the country of Hungary.

Bitcoin mining is estimated to have consumed 62.3TWh of energy last year. This is due to the massive amounts of computing power required to crunch the numbers required to generate a bitcoin. So it is no wonder GPI has given birth to the Green Computing movement. Green computing is an approach to computer design that focuses on product longevity, Size/form factor, modularity, end of life and packaging. By optimising each stage at of the computers product lifecycle it is possible to drastically reduce the impact of a computer on the environment.

Transportation is another huge global contributor to the Climate breakdown. Some estimates put transportation as making up approximately 30% of global emissions. So in an effort to reduce the impact of transportation on the environment governments are starting to roll out so-called ‘smart-roads’. Smart roads refer to the integration of technology into roadways to either aid autonomous vehicles, generate electricity, intelligently manage traffic, increase road safety, increase efficiency (of use), reduce congestion, and as a result reduce the total emissions from transportation to the environment. By using technology such as aggregating and analysing GPS data collected from large numbers of road users it’s possible to divert traffic away from busy areas or help avoid construction areas. This can reduce congestion, which can result in fewer emissions and reduce total effects on the climate.

Personal energy consumption is also incredibly important and there is a big global push to encourage individuals to reduce their consumption and look to utilise renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines. This could also extend to personal consumption when on the move. One such product looking to reduce your impact when on the move is the Numi Smart Solar backpack from Set Travel. A camera backpack that also incorporates a solar panel and charging ports to enable you to charge your devices on the go. The 7-watt solar panel stores energy in an integrated battery pack that allows you to keep your gear charged when you are out and about. Utilising solar charging could be a great way for people to reduce their impact on the environment when traveling.

Here at Detekt, we understand the gravity and impact that the products we have on the environment and we do our utmost to be responsible and employ the Green Product Initiatives to every aspect of our design processes and implement it in all of the products we produce. “If you are too caring about our planet and want to make great products that don’t cost the world then come talk to us.”