Sunday, October 4, 2009

How Green is our gadge life?

A couple of days back, while attending a green initiative by the International Indian Film Academy in Gurgaon, evergreen superstar of Bollywood, Amithabh Bachchan made a startling remark, To go green you should get rid of the mobile phone that you are using!

And this statement assumes greater significance in today’s tech-driven world, where gadgets are becoming style statements; at times even becoming kind of an extension of the human body.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, a gallon (around 3.8 litres) of gasoline has 131 MJ of energy and emits 8.8 kg of CO2. Based on this, if we calculate the energy consumption in the manufacture of a mobile phone, it would come to 1,390 MJ of energy, while CO2 emissions would be 60 kg, says a blog post in Likewise, the production of a computer and monitor takes 6,400 MJ of energy, or 4.6 times that of a mobile phone.

According to another report published on, carbon emissions from personal gadgets (such as mp3 players) and electronic devices (including televisions and mobile phones) will rise drastically over the next twenty years. The report, quoting a study by Frances International Energy Association says that their energy-use would triple between now and 2030. So, you understand from where all the bullets pierce the fragile ozone layer!

The IEA pointed out that over half of the world’s population now has a mobile phone and forecast that the number of PC users will surpass 1 bn in 2009. If we fail to adopt new policies, the energy consumed by such devices will rise to 1,700 TW hours by 2030, significantly undermining efforts in reducing global emissions, it warns.

According to the IEA estimates, by 2010, there will be over 3.5 bn mobile phone subscribers, and 2 bn televisions in use around the world.

It is this awareness about environmental hazard that prompted Ericsson and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to partner in encouraging the use of climate-smart telecom solutions across industries.

According to a recent study by Gartner and WWF, the ICT(Information & Communication Technology) industry has been slow to embrace the low-carbon economy, and is missing out on opportunities. The ICT industry is responsible for approximately 2% of global CO2 emissions.

-Dataquest (Edition: June 30, 2009)

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