Insights

E-waste and the Scandinavian lifestyle

I have long admired Scandinavian societies. I remember doing workshops over a number of years in Denmark and being struck at how collaborative a society it was. People were always sharing ideas and work practices, always trying to learn from each other. I spent time in Finland, Sweden, Norway, and occasionally Iceland. These were model s... Read More »

People’s perception of waste has changed

“Back in 2008, when we first started, people talked more about waste as a visual problem, not an environmental problem,” states Anneli Ohvril, founder and CEO of Let’s Do It World. “They would say things like: ‘I don’t like that waste is everywhere because it’s not beautiful.’ Now, we don’t talk anymore about the visual impact. Now, it’s... Read More »

Let’s talk about digital hygiene

If someone looked inside your computer or your Cloud account would they find a tidy, clean, well-maintained place? Or would they find a messy, chaotic dump. Imagine if old, waste content smelled. How smelly would your computer be? We accept behaviors from ourselves in digital spaces that we would never accept in the physical spaces we ... Read More »

The environmental cost of iPhone updates

iPhone updates are responsible for almost 5 billion gigabytes (GB) of data being transferred every year. When it comes to CO2, most of the damage lies in the embedded costs of manufacturing the hardware. However, the way you transfer data can have a significant impact. The most environmentally friendly way to transfer data is by using ... Read More »

Making visible the CO2 in iPhone updates

At least half a million tons of CO2 are caused by annual iPhone updates. To deal with this sort of pollution, you’d need to plant at least 50 million trees every year. The number of updates has almost doubled in the last 10 years. The latest iPhone update I got was 4.7 gigabytes (GB). There are about 1 billion active iPhone users. So, ... Read More »

Principles for designing sustainable, environmentally friendly websites

When it comes to Web design, the best thing you can do for the environment is nothing. Decide not to have a website or app or chatbot. Decide not to publish that new content. Even better, decide to remove an old website, to delete lots of useless Web pages. There’s about 1.8 billion websites out there. One website for every four people... Read More »

The environmental cost of search

An average Google search is responsible for 0.192 gEqCO2 (gram equivalent of CO2), according to a fascinating study published by Greenspector in 2020. On average, the brain is responsible for 0.0025 gEqCO2 per second. So, using Google is the equivalent of spending about 75 seconds thinking. We could do a lot of searching in our brains in... Read More »

Designing digital to last

Digital is fragile, impermanent, flexible, malleable. This creates a strong impulse to create things with digital that are fragile, impermanent, malleable. How many developers and designers set out to create a website or app with the idea that it should last? Very few. When creating websites or apps the very idea is that they will change... Read More »

In a climate crisis, text should be default option for communication

Text is the most environmentally friendly form of communication. 1,000 words of text weighs about 7 KB and takes up about two A4 pages. Two A4 pages with images could easily weigh 100 KB, and that’s for well-optimized images. Poorly optimized images weigh in the megabytes. We’ve been analyzing a lot of Web images recently and have foun... Read More »

The tech cult of collecting and hoarding data

When it comes to deleting data waste, “In my opinion, social media is the worst, really,” states Virginie Guerin, who co-founded the French Digital Cleanup Day team. “It’s very hard to do. We created lots of small how-tos. For example, how to delete your photographs from Facebook. How to go into your social network and find the feature t... Read More »