Does A Phone That Lasts Forever Have A Future?

Read the full story at Fast Company.

When Google abandoned its modular phone project, the idea seemed dead. But a few of designers are still dreaming of a phone that is easily upgraded and repaired.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 Recall Is an Environmental Travesty

Read the full story at Motherboard.

Lost in the hype about Samsung permanently pulling the plug on its exploding phone is this: The failure of the Galaxy Note 7 is an environmental tragedy, regardless of what Samsung decides will happen to the 2.5 million devices it manufactured.

The Health Effects of 3D Printing

Read the full story in American Libraries. Although the article focuses on libraries, the health effects information is of broader interest.

As makerspaces and fab labs increase in popularity, more and more libraries are adding 3D-printing capabilities. According to a 2015 American Library Association (ALA) report, 428 public library branches have made this technology available. Some potential issues of 3D printing, such as the threat of printing weapons and copyrighted works, are often considered. However, discussion of the health hazards associated with 3D printing is rare.

An App For Ordering Cheap Leftover Food From Restaurants And Bakeries

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Canny shoppers visit the supermarket late in the evening, near to closing time, in order to pick up all the marked-down bargains. You’ll get perishable goods—fruit, veggies, croissants that are still good for breakfast a few hours hence—for absurdly low prices, as the store tries anything to avoid tossing them out. Now, that could happen with restaurants, thanks to a new app called Too Good to Go.

For China’s Massive Data Centers, A Push to Cut Energy and Water Use

Read the full story in E360 Digest.

As China’s population connects to the Web, its data centers are consuming huge amounts of energy to power the growing demand. Now, Chinese tech companies are turning to energy-efficient data facilities to cut costs and green their operations.

Can Stuffstr become the Uber for stuff?

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Recently, I wrote a post for GreenBiz where, among other things, I mused about the circular economy, touching on its generational aspects and also the notion that makers of things really don’t have a good handle on what happens to their products in the post-purchase phase.

Coincidentally, shortly after the post appeared, I was asked to test a new data platform created by Seattle-based B corp Stuffstr that touched on these themes.

The experience brought me back to some work I was involved in roughly seven years ago when I was working on sustainability at Best Buy. It made me realize how little progress we’ve made in the intervening time. At the same time, I believe we’re on the cusp of some fundamental, radical changes in societal consumption patterns that finally may tip the balance towards a more sustainable future.

Making The Cloud Green: Tech Firms Push For Renewable Energy Sources

Read the full story from NPR.

At Green House Data in Cheyenne, Wyo., energy efficiency is an obsession.

When someone enters one of the company’s secured data vaults, they’re asked to pause in the entryway and stomp their shoes on a clear rubber mat with a sticky, glue-like finish.

“Dust is a huge concern of ours,” says Art Salazar, the director of operations.

That’s because dust makes electronics run hotter, which then means using more electricity to cool them down. For data centers, the goal is to use as little electricity as possible, because it’s typically companies’ biggest expense.

In 2013, data centers consumed 2 percent of all U.S. power — triple what they consumed in 2000. Wendy Fox, Green House Data’s communications director, says the sector has a responsibility to source that electricity sustainably.

The power Green House Data draws from the grid mostly comes from coal. The company offsets that by purchasing green energy credits that support renewable energy development elsewhere.

But larger companies are no longer interested in simply buying credits. Instead, they want to get more of their power directly from renewables.