Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Landscape of Today to The Landscape of the Future

 In Reduce, Recycle, Reuse: Electronic Waste we go over the three Rs and one of the reasons why we all should participate beyond simply recycling. While community is a great reason to get into this stuff, it has been a topic of sorts among some that technology has actually led to people living more insulated lives, despite it being easier to communicate across any barrier than ever. While I could go into depth on that, I will instead provide another reason beyond just community for why the other steps in the process of sustainability are worthwhile. Another reason is that everybody's daily lives are changing in a massive way, and the driving force behind that change: Technology.

Like it or not, technology is now heavily entrenched in our lives. In the post Alarming Statistics around E-Waste  it was mentioned that there are more mobile devices than there people on the planet. That statistic is for mobile devices alone, there are significantly more electronic devices beyond the mobile ones. Is that trend going to change? Absolutely not, as this article from Business Insider suggests, you can bet on there being "10 million self-driving cars on the road by 2020". There's also Wearable technology which is an older but popular concept that has been gaining more ground in the last five years than it has in the previous three decades.  USA Today wrote a great article a couple of years ago about the  mechanization of jobs called "Could a robot do your job?'

It can get overwhelming trying to comprehend the full scope of technology that is slowly but surely headed our way. But while robots might leave us with no jobs, there is one function in our lives that simply wouldn't make sense to replace with robots: Using. If you don't think e-waste is a problem now, imagine it when you have electronics in your eyeglasses, your mirror, your cabinets or dressers, or even your clothes. While it's true that the incredible progress of technology has allowed engineers to do a lot in small spaces, you only need to see an ant hill to know that billions of very tiny things can make a nightmarishly large pile of unpleasantness.

Adopting good habits today allows for a much smoother transition to the future. If you follow the principle of reducing, become more selective in what technologies you involve yourself in, don't fall for the hype of the new shiny gadget with a higher incremental number, it will make the age of technology at every turn easier to digest.

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