Friday, September 21, 2018
Articles

Sustainability in Computers – What’s in it?

Despite the fact that computers have led to innovations far beyond what anyone may have realistically expected at the offset, one of the most challenging issues with computing is sustainability. Many pieces of computing hardware tend to be made from unsustainable and hard to work with products that lie in landfill sites, filling up the world inch by inch. While in the past there was the valid excuse that computers were too valuable to society to forego until more sustainable materials could be discovered, that no longer exists.

With the importance of sustainability in computers becoming a more apparent and prominent topic, though, what can be done to help make sure that the future is more sustainable?

Introducing Hemp Plastics
The vast majority of computers today are made with a large collection of plastic and metals. However, many forms of computing hardware are made with a plastic that is hard to re-use, recycle or even allow to naturally degrade. As such, it becomes a common sight in landfill venues and similar places around the world. This is not only polluting the near-future, but if nothing is done to correct the problem then it could cause a major issue in the long-term.

Thankfully, though, hemp plastics have become a real thing. It’s no longer seen as a pie in the sky dream; many processors and PC hardware is now using hem plastic as a more biodegradable option.

Not only will this help to make sure that hardware is going to be more sustainable, it will ensure that hold hardware can actually be broken down and, when possible, re-used. This creates a much better sense of control when it comes to seeing a genuine solution to the problem at hand. While in the past we could not make computers out of a more sustainable and safe material, today this offers something else entirely.

But won’t using hemp plastic over normal plastic cause hardware to be weaker? Not at all. It’s being used in all manner of industries, from car door manufacturing to many pieces of the modern PC. While it’s not quite a mainstream choice yet, hemp plastics are the ticket to a more environmentally sound future.

Aside from the visual impact of having large landfill sites building up around the world, hemp

plastics also offer a much more sustainable means of creation. With over three quarters of hemp plastics made from cellulose – which is fully biodegradable – it’s easy to see why hemp plastics are being seen as a source of good in the bid to make computing more environmentally stable.

Add in the fact that it would help us to reduce our need to create petrochemicals and to make plastic for finite resources that do not degrade properly, and we are much closer to being where we want to be.

There is no shame in wanting a healthier world – and it does not have to wait until tomorrow. Sustainability will start with swapping plastic for something more sustainable. If it’s already available in the computing world, it will be available elsewhere, too.

Change is needed – hopefully, as ever, the revolution will begin on-screen.

Bob Buskirk
the authorBob Buskirk
About 10 years of computer experience. Been messing around with electronics since I was 5, got into computers when I was in highschool, been modding them ever since then. Very interested in how things work and their design.
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