How to be a Techie Environmentalist

The average person buys a new computer once every 3 years.  That same average person buys a new cell phone once every 18 months.  This begs the question:  How can you be a techie environmentalist in our modern world?

Here at iSupportU, we have been looking closely at this problem for quite a few years.  Here are a few ways you can do your part to lower your impact on the world’s fastest-growing residential waste stream and hug some virtual trees:

  • Get it fixed:  Things break.  Gravity is quite effective and electronics are delicate.  That’s a dangerous combination.  People also keep inventing the most sinister viruses.  While it’s true that computers continue to become more affordable, in most cases, it is still  cost-effective to get your computer serviced.  If in doubt, get it fixed.
  • Keep it up to date:  Whether you use an Apple or a Windows-based computer, it’s important to keep your software up to date.  These updates often include security patches that will keep your computer healthy.  Browser updates allow you to visit the sites that you want to visit.  We know that it’s inconvenient, but a virus is even more inconvenient.
  • Buy for the long haul:  While it might be tempting to go for the cheap special to replace your aging computer, think about the future.  If you invest in quality technology that will serve you for 2 years longer than a cheap setup, you will save plenty of cash in the long run.  In addition to the cost savings, you will also contribute to the e-waste stream less often.
  • Go for a laptop:  Laptops use less power than desktop computers do.  They are usually quicker to go into sleep mode and they have lower wattage parts.  They’re also easier to lug around than a desktop.
  • Shut it off:  When you are not using your computer, shut if off.  Not only will the computer last longer, it’s also good practice to restart your computer anyway.  Putting it to sleep is good, but off is better.

We are all environmentalists at iSU, so we tend to encourage our clients to use their technology for as long as possible and make sustainable choices.  Every time a computer repair walks through our door, we consult with that client about whether to invest in the repair for that computer or purchase a new one.  This decision will depend on a few factors including: the age of the computer, compatibility with applications and what the client will use it for.

Just because you appreciate the power that technology offers does not mean you have to give up your tree-hugging roots.  Yes, you can have the best of both worlds.

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