Save the Earth IT-ically

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere have extensively increased as years went by. Would we blame all these to technology alone or the people who abused the utilization of these? Carbon Dioxide or CO2 is the number one contributor of these greenhouse gases. It seemed that the trees who supposed to take them in are not enough to maintain the balance of different gases in the atmosphere. Trees which can save air pollution are being cut down and their numbers aren’t enough to protect us. CO2 are emitted from vehicles to electronic appliances to humans’ dangerous activities. Everyday, million tons of CO2 are emitted to the atmosphere which certainly unbalances the world’s emissions. Eventually, these emissions have led to dangerous and worse climate change. Global warming is one of the hottest issues being discussed and pondered by concerned individuals all over the world since this is a very important subject on climate change.

Some environmentalists and book authors concerning environment have asserted that all these climate changes should be blamed to the emergent and continuous developments in technology. But how will they blame technology that it is not the one who does the actions and who thinks to destroy the environment? Well, technology has been considered by everyone as an efficient tool only, but it should be better considered as a system according to some people who has a better and excellent understanding of its infrastructure. They have asserted that it has components that we must be aware of. These components are the things we should take into account as we use them to help us in our everyday lives. Technology must not be used to destroy our environment. Though we may not be aware that the extend use of our computers already harm our environment, with this, it must be considered that we live in an environment that must be well-taken of and in which, we must more sensitive with this fact. And so every time we do something, we must remember and consider if we are harming our environment. Human exploitation towards technology is to some extent uncontrollable. You cannot tell people or control them on what must be done, they have their own minds to command their selves whether to exploit our environment or not and so, it is on that time that the responsibility for each individual for his ecosystem deals with the problem. One cannot be responsible to teach the other how to be responsible, it is a matter of self- perception.

All these exploitations and all the negative contributions towards the climate change have been undeniably originated from the fast-paced developments in our society. New technologies are created every now and then, humans’ behavior continuously changing as time goes by, human necessities are countless and so an extensive number of new devices are invented to fulfill these needs. These observations prove that there is a becoming endless cycle of developments in the society. With this, lots of possible risks are in the same way, created and introduced to cause harm in our environment which the only available options to avoid the future destruction of our mother nature is to be self-aware of what’s happening and as much as possible , do many and effective things to avoid the foreseen devastation. All we can do from now is to be responsible and help save our nature by avoiding the environment be harmed from all of these.

In part of these and as an Information Technology student, I have researched and prepared simple steps to help save in our environment from the minimal activities we oftentimes do and from our everyday encounter with computers, considered one of the negative contributors to climate change. These steps are really simple and no-nonsense that I know everyone of us could have no reason to say “NO”. But first of all, I would like to clarify again first that technology are tools and we must not blame all the harms that caused our environment to these means, we must take that blame from them and put it to the ones that exploit the use of technology. Now, the following steps are the things that could easily be remembered by any of us:

1. Look around.

I have read an article from brisbanetimes.com.au entitled Google out to save environment discussing about a very significant discovery about white backgrounds in our computer. They have asserted that a white background takes more power for a monitor to display a white screen compared to a black screen. They also stressed out that 79 watts are consumed by white screens while black screens consume 20 watts lesser than it. So if you care enough about saving energy you can use a black background for your desktop wallpaper or a black background for your blog and contrasted with white text or any color that you are able to read. And using Google search engine for your researches and the likes, you can use Blackle.com instead which is just exactly the same as Google with a black background and gray text though. This is actually, Google’s new and customized version in respond to a blog entry posted by an environmentalist Mark Ontkush who had estimated that about 3000 megawatt-hours Google can save if they had a black background for a year. This initiative has made me realized that I should start using black background for my desktop and also, I had also reduced the brightness of my desktop’s monitor to save energy. And I am going to make it a habit and share this information with my family and friends.

Another simple thing that I have realized as I was arranging my paper communications is the use of e-mail. Instead that I have to spend many papers to create paper documents or communications to send to persons why send it electronically where there are no papers involved. Make not use of papers and perhaps, we can save trees. We all know that a number of trees are being cut down to make paper in which we could actually do something to avoid it. Send documents electronically can reduce the utilization of paper and perhaps like me, who’s very annoyed with bunch of papers around my room, we could maybe have more organized documents wherein we could just store these documents in electronic medium. To put it simply, digital papers to replace papers. But of course, I had to remind you that we are also to save energy so as we use digital paper, remember to minimize the brightness mode of your desktop and make use of time wisely to save energy.

Knowing these facts, we could simply say that there are actually simple activities we do that we can certainly help to save our environment out of it. Look for more amazing and practical things you can do from our daily encounter with simple IT activities everyday and you will be much surprised that saving our environment is simply right on your fingertips already.
2. Recycle.

This is just the very common and easiest step an environmentalist makes to save nature. Recycle things that could still be used. Everything that could still be used. But in our case, as an IT student, there are more things we could get from this word recycle. As simple as recycle paper. Again, as I was looking on the bunch of papers I was about to throw outside our apartment, I have realized that I could still use them as my scrap papers for future uses. I know that most of us print hard copies for personal readings so instead of printing these hard copies with new set of papers which are not really for submission or any formal purposes, let us use discarded papers whose back portions can still be used for printing. Let us convert those discarded papers into reusable and efficient ones. This is another way to save fresh trees to be cut down.

Another important and very common but we are not just aware of is the recycling of printer ink cartridges. You, after the printer ink cartridge was emptied, where did you let it go? Probably, they end up in trash cans. But according to printcountry.com, printer ink cartridges can be recycled. We can bring them to the recycling centers for them to reuse such cartridges to create new ones. There are actually some brands of printer ink cartridges which have been environmentally-minded that they allow their customers to bring their cartridges every time they want to ask for refills and to let them avoid buying new ones with new cartridges. Why do we need to recycle them? Firstly, they can contribute to pollution since they are non-biodegradable products. In other words, even if you throw them away, they will never decay and will stay hundred years there without decomposing. Additionally and what is worse, these products are made of strong chemicals that if they end up in landfills, if these chemicals will be buried to the ground going to ground water, they can certainly contribute to water pollution too which to some extent, we will be likely poisoned drinking the water which was actually mixed with printer ink chemicals. Next thing that we have to consider why we need to recycle them is that printer ink cartridges are made up of plastic and metal which are finite resources mined from the ground, it is like we are wasting these resources as we are throwing these printer ink cartridges to garbage cans. And which is really a waste.

3. Do not waste energy, save time.

It is a very common sense to turn off electronic devices when they are not in use and even better, to unplug them when you are not going to use them anyway. This thing is as simple as to turn off your computer if you are not using it. My own idea somehow is to add something more sensible to that when you are actually using computer. There is still a way to save energy while you are using you computer and that is to make valuable time out of it. Of course, do not use computer if you are going to waste time anyway. An example of this is playing games without proper discipline. I know playing games is some way of entertaining yourself but overusing it is no-normal. I have observed that some of my classmates do spend hours of playing online games without realizing that they are actually not saving valuable time out of using the internet. It is sad to say that they forget to remember how to actually save energy by reducing their hours of play to one hour. Well, I had actually used to play online games before but I had quit because I could not afford to spend more money and waste them. (not that I had this environmental-care reason…hehehe but if ever I am still playing right now, well, I now have a very sensible reason to quit…) Now, chatting online is another way too, do not chat and chat unless you don’t have goal you want to attain at the end of the conversation, it will just waste you lots of times wherein you could actually use those times might spent to learning and gaining information by surfing the net. Indeed, a very useful and efficient purpose and utilization of internet is to gain knowledge and information not totally for fun and personal leisure or entertainment. Do not waste time having word-wars in any forums when you will not get any good from it afterwards, you will just find an enemy and if you are already in the offline world, it could only stressed you up or hassled you. Then again, you will be persuaded by the next time you are online to do again the same things to have revenge with that person or any which will turn out an endless activity. Just like gambling. So better, make the most and valuable time surfing the internet and make no priorities with unimportant matters. You can extensively save lots of energies if you will learn how to manage yourself on utilizing electronic devices such as computers. A good time management with these tools is a very nice way of getting into discipline of controlling and using technology and in some very important ways, we can even save our environment from being so disciplined.

4. Be IT-ically environmentalist.

Being in the field of technology does not hinder us to be environmentalist at the same time. Even if others say that environmentalists are anti-technology or vice versa. These two distinct things could go hand-in-hand to save our mother nature. As information technology students, information are right on the tips of our fingertips. This means with the emergent use of dot coms, we could easily access information every now and then. With being informative enough we can be important and worthwhile individuals to play the roles of environmental heroes. If we are equipped with information, we can definitely save our environment.

Read environmental news updates. One way to take necessary actions is to know what is already happening with our nature. It is important to be updated with environmental information so that you can decide and think for what are possible and effective solutions to solve our environmental problems. There are lots of articles available in the internet presently that we could really learn from. It is just a matter of being so attentive enough to grasp information. Well-informed individuals could certainly initiate good plans and immediately, take them into actions.

The power of search engines. Google, Yahoo.com, Altavista and etc., are very useful tools to research for ways on how to save our earth in our own simple ways from conserving energy in our homes‒to reduce toxicity too‒to protect our air‒to create less garbage and so on. There are many other concerned individuals who voluntarily share their knowledge to everyone in the virtual world on how to take care of our nature in everyday activities we do. And so all these articles are saved into Google and other web search engines’ databases. I have read an article on 100 ways to save the environment prepared by SEQL or Sustainable Environment for Quality of Life which entails simple activities that can be done by a person.

Blog for Earth. This is just the very simplest form we can do as IT student and at the same time, bloggers. The information we have and hold could be transferred to other persons when we share these to them. Indeed, our blogs are good platforms to share what we have learned about saving our environment and a very efficient medium to connect with a wider audience around the globe. In fact, our blog entries are also recorded in the databases of various search engines wherein we can be ensured that whenever our topic is closely related to the item being searched by the user, our blog entries will be seen. Additionally, if you are also actively participating in any bloggers community, you can easily broadcast your posts about environment through a wider network or a wider group of audience. Our blogs are truly good instruments and medium to share our views and initiatives on taking care of our environment. And of course, with a wider scope of audience globally, your information can reach anyone.

At the end, the very essential thing that we should do is to learn to love our nature. Everyone should take in mind that our nature is part of our living. Without our environment, our existence could not survive long. It is from our environment we breathe air, we drink water and it is from them we get our food. Thus, nature has very well a good provider for all our needs. Have you imagined yourself that one day all you can see is fog from the very thick smoke and other air pollution emitted to the air, all you can smell is metallic odor and gases that having no choice, you will just inhale them to live. Have you imagined yourself that you can no longer see green things and that everything turned to monochrome, where everything turned black and white and shades of gray? How about hearing machines and cars and other vehicles’ noises rather than hearing the birds singing? These are just some of the horrible images and events that could possibly take place the very breathtaking scenes of our nature for the meantime. Definitely, as time goes by, as the technology continuously developed and not properly controlled by humans, and as the humans’ behavior constantly changing, there is a great possibility that the nature’s devastation will happen. And we cannot do nothing but to feel and suffer the worst consequences in our whole existence.

With this, it is very important that we should not just take a look what we have presently but also to think for our future. I know some of us may think that we cannot somehow see such future’s destruction but we must remember that our future grandchildren will be the ones who will pay for the mistakes they have not done. It is just quite unfair that we know that we could have done something to prevent those possible scenarios to take into place and instead we let our future successors to enjoy and see the beauty of our nature. Lastly, as we are the ones who take hold of the present, we must do necessary actions to build a bright future. Indeed, the future is right in our hands. Each of us must feel that sense of responsibility to take care of our nature as we take care of our families, friends, our homes, and the whole community. As we all know, at the very end of the day, the environment is still the most important thing why we still survive and why we are still breathing. We owe all of these to our nature. And so as IT students, let us take our duties and tasks to save our environment in our own IT ways.

References:

http://www.technologystudent.com/energy1/engex.htm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2008/may/31/willtechnologysavetheworld
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/technology/go-green-by-turning-google-black/2007/06/13/1181414342180.html
http://www.ecogeek.org/
http://www.wikihow.com/Help-Save-the-Environment
http://www.seql.org/100ways.cfm
http://printerinkcartridges.printcountry.com/inkjet-recycling-and-buyback-recycled-empty-cartridges-related-articles/save-the-environment-use-recycled-printer-ink-cartridges/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_technology
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/214522/technology_from_the_1940s_can_save.html
http://www.devindra.org/tech/2007/10/15/why-i-believe-technology-will-save-the-environment-and-environmentalism/

5 comments:

  • rendell

    nyc words....
    yes to minimzng global warming...

  • emoteragwapa

    we need to be aware on the things that would cause global warming, and lets all help reduce global warming.

  • jAdE

    i think many people are aware of the effects of rapid growth of global warming. its just some of these people dont think that there cooperations would matter. which does!

  • charmj

    we all want to eradicate global warming, hopefully if that would still be possible.

  • mae

    Think every outcome, not just in how we can benefit.

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