Technology can play a large role in reducing your carbon footprint, provided the device has a long and useful life. Devices these days are really stingy in terms of their operating energy needs since many consume less than an average light bulb, which makes daily usage highly green.
So, Christmas can be green even with high tech gifts. But there’s a catch…
Most of the CO2 associated with the device occurs during its manufacturing and distribution. Considerable energy is consumed refining and shaping the raw materials that go into the device – embodied energy. If this invested energy and associated CO2 is spread across thousands of hours of use, it can actually become smaller than the on-going hourly operating energy.
If a device has a short life and is discarded, the environmental impact is shocking. But, if the device is coddled, valued, and used frequently over an extended period of time, then all that energy invested in making the device is spread across many, many hours of use and enjoyment. In many cases, using the device can even help you avoid more intensive CO2 generating activities.
As technology plays an increasingly large role in our lives, it is no surprise that it also features prominently under the Christmas tree this holiday season. According to the Consumer Technology Association, 68% of U.S. adults plan to buy at least one tech gift this year, spending an average total of $478 on smart devices, consumer electronics, or tech accessories.
Statista summarized the Christmas popularity of high tech gifts ranging from big-ticket items such as laptops or smartphones to smaller, more affordable things such as activity trackers or digital media players that connect to a TV set. As reported by Statista, “headphones are the most popular tech gift this year with 38% of U.S. adults planning to gift a pair.”
Considering these 12 gift options on the chart below, from purely a green impact perspective, Green Blizzard recommends either an eReader or an activity tracker. Both will considerably reduce your carbon footprint and CO2 output, in a big way!.
So as you are shopping, keep in mind the probable usage life of the high tech gift and buy according.