models as the panacea to unsustainable present-day IT practices by both consumers and producers.
Companies are creating corporate green policies.
Many interactive devices are being manufactured
from less toxic materials and use less power. The
opportunities and directions abound, including
small-footprint operating systems, responsible recycling and export for reuse, carbon offsetting, carbon
calculators, greener data centers, greener manufacturing, manufacturer handling of and responsibility
for retired equipment, and others. There are too
many such efforts to adequately list here; I expect
to report on many of them in future columns, and I
invite your input.
What is accomplished under the perspective
of collective material success is laudable and yet
requires a caution: Technologies and enterprise
models that are targeted to make new things less
harmful still promote consumption to satisfy
increasing needs, rather than changes in lifestyle
and cultural behaviors to decrease needs. Buying
more new stuff—however green—to offset the
effects of the stuff you already have may be more
badge of contribution than actual contribution.
As a design strategy from the perspective of
sustainability respective of the perspective of collective material success, I would suggest these
things: (i) design things that preserve material as
much as possible; (ii) make it fashionable to buy
green design that holds the possibility of durability
and long service life—disposability is the opposite
of green; (iii) make it fashionable to think of
new-to-me as just-as-new-as-new for things of sufficient quality.
These suggestions follow from the design principles in the perspective of sustainability in several
ways, including (i) the idea that the cost of new
things includes the cost of disposal or alternatives
to disposal, and (ii) the link between ownership of
the latest fashionably green things and sense of
self-identity provides the potential to promote positive green behaviors on the one hand and what can