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.
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.
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.
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.
Read the full story at The Verge.
Over several weeks in early 2016, The Verge tracked just one of the countless e-waste recycling paths around the country, from a garbage room in an apartment building in Manhattan, to a drop-off site in Staten Island, to a sorting facility in New Jersey, to a bustling recycling warehouse in Massachusetts. The goal was simple: to get a broader sense of where all our old televisions, phones, and computers go when we don’t want them anymore.
Read the full story in Fast Company.
For both kids and adults, games are sometimes a great way to learn about social issues and brainstorm creative solutions. The nonprofit Games for Change has worked on this idea for more than a decade, and at its upcoming annual festival in New York, it will present four new games that tackle the most pressing challenge for humanity: climate change.
Read the full story in the Wall Street Journal.
Apple introduced a piece of technology recently that will likely never be used by any consumer. Instead, it kind of cleans up after them: a robot that breaks down iPhones for recycling…
The company spent more than three years building Liam, of which there are currently two. Each carefully separates iPhone components such as the camera module, SIM card trays, screws and batteries. Instead of tossing the whole device into a shredder—the most common form of disposal—Liam separates materials so they can be recycled more efficiently.
Other electronics makers take a different recycling approach, designing products that simplify disassembly by replacing glue and screws with parts that snap together, for instance. Some also have reduced the variety of plastics used and avoid mercury and other hazardous materials that can complicate disposal.