It’s popular nowadays to talk about bio food, green paper products and eco-friendly transport. What are the main differences between so-called bio or eco products and services, and all others? I would summarise them as:
Massive awareness of natural, no-harm products and services is a quite recent phenomenon.
Let’s see an example of food evolution. Only 50–60 years ago, people were mostly buying fresh and natural foods — whatever was attractive and affordable. Up until a certain moment in time, everything was bio. There was no scale economy, no packaged food factories, and food was generally produced in small quantities without any need to boost its growth. And then came the greediness of the big corporations that produced food using unhealthy methods of growing vegetatives and factory-farmed animals.
I see a strong parallel between the food production evolution and technology evolution. Since the almost non-technology world in the late ’80s, we have seen a drastic change into a gadget-dependent society in only 30+ years. We have seen amazing and innovative solutions with high potential. A very high level of intelligence is surrounding us, and at some point it is able to add value to our lives. The problem is that I am absolutely sure technology can do at least 10 times better.
Where is the world’s IT energy focused? Obviously it is almost solely focused on the most efficient ways to make a profit, without any slightest concern about our mental health. Of course we have plenty of excellent ideas that are optimizing our economy and adding flexibility to people’s lifestyles. My real favourites are Uber, Airbnb and BlaBlaCar. Thanks to their business models and high product quality, we have a better financial distribution, which keeps the money in the middle class and raises the level of efficiency from many different aspects.
I’ve come to realise that those of us in IT could also introduce an “Eco” term in a metaphorical way. Not exactly like eco-friendly physical products; we are talking here about impacting the natural health of human minds.
To differentiate such eco-IT products from all others, I’ve drafted a list of criteria of eco-IT products and services. Feel free to leave your comments with your own points that can help distinguish “healthy” technology:
Much the same way that awareness of healthy food makes you enjoy your green salad much more than a greasy burger, I’m absolutely sure that opening our minds to the new generation of “Green” technology will bring humanity to a higher quality of life.