Sustainability has become a very important topic in the business world. Sustainability means that we maintain the world we live. But in the way we found it. We, as a people, need to be responsible. Resources we use on the planet need to be available for years to come. Homes, vehicles, electronics, and all items made on the earth use these resources. Our actions have a major impact on the environment. Therefore, it is up to us to make sustainability a priority.
Humans have been on this planet for hundreds of thousands of years. In that time we ignorantly also brought damage to this earth. Inventors create and produce more and more items and technology. And our society continues to become more advanced. However, we know that all the “stuff” that is made is eventually thrown away. And now our planet is filled with so much waste. Unfortunately, as we progressed, sustainability was not considered.
Plastic is an excellent example. There are thousands or millions (or more), of uses for plastic. It made life so much more convenient. Almost every item now has plastic in it. This includes packaging. Then after you buy an item, it is put into the ever-so-popular plastic grocery bag. Unfortunately, plastic is not sustainable. It takes millions of years for plastic to decompose. And now there are large amounts of plastic all over the earth. Plastic does not follow the sustainability rules.
Unfortunately, our planet took a hit before we realized what we were doing to it. Fortunately, we’ve taken notice now. And understand now that we need to be greener in our behaviors. We’ve taken many steps in making sure that this happens. Including reducing, reusing, refurbishing, and recycling. Companies are now accountable for what they do with unwanted and unused equipment. Consumers are now given instructions and opportunities on what to do with their unwanted items. Recycling companies are increasing, growing, and advancing their procedures. OEMs and Third Party Service Providers are also creatively finding other ways to use recycled items. As seen in this article. IBM researchers are taking this problem seriously, where they are developing poly-carbonate recycling technology.
But now we can’t stop at just figuring out what to do with our old stuff. Recycling isn’t enough. We need to take it a step further. We need to start creating items with a greener frame of mind. So items can be made with its end-of-life in mind and ultimately biodegradable. As seen in this article found on Co.Exist. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin, claim they have developed a working chip for electronic components made of wood. This is remarkable! Imagine a computer, cell phone, or even a television, made of all biodegradable materials. In addition, companies like Dell, as seen in this article, are thinking about the packaging their equipment is sold and shipped in. And they’re making sure these materials are environmentally greener as well. We still have a long way to go, but “small progress is still progress”.