zymotux

sustainability

Following on from my last post on “Sustainability in tech”, and spurred by a recent circular economy podcast I listened to, I've been thinking about new environmentally-conscious economic models of production and consumption, and the trade-offs that come with them.

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I recently came across the company Framework, whose USP is a fully repairable laptop. Shouldn't seem revolutionary but somehow it is in this age of planned obsolescence and glued/welded components. Reminds me a little of Fairphone, who are also trying to disrupt tech hardware with their emphasis on ethical sustainable supply chains and modular, replaceable components.

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Time to kick-off a series I've been thinking about for awhile now, exploring the broad concept of sustainability through the lens of alcohol production and consumption. This will span the whole system, including brewing itself, upstream and downstream supply chains, marketing and public perception etc. To begin with, I'm going to look at the example of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

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I'm not a very good environmentalist. Sure, I don't own a car – but that is as much an urban lifestyle choice as anything else. I recycle and compost – but the local council does the hard work there, giving me the bags and collecting it. We have re-useable nappies – but use them alongside disposable ones.

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I found a great podcast episode called “Building a thriving economy for people within our planetary boundaries”[1] as part of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's podcast series on “The Circular Economy”. The episode features an interview with Kate Raworth who explains her concept of Doughnut Economics and how it is now being applied at city-scale by Amsterdam. Kate is wonderfully erudite and compelling, and I urge you to listen to the episode if you have a spare 40 mins. You may not agree with everything in it, or feel that it is unrealistic but it is always refreshing and inspiring to hear people with passion speak eloquently about what motivates them.

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Towards the end of last year I started thinking about getting a new smartphone. My Samsung A3 (2016) was nearly 3 years old, the battery was struggling to get through a day, and apps were becoming too slow. However, I felt an innate rejection of many principles the smartphone industry held dear. Its business model clashed with my desire for sustainability and privacy.

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I may add a search bar at some point but for now, you can also navigate posts according to hashtags, grouped below in a way that makes sense to me and evolving as I post more. Expect a mixed bag. Some of the posts will feature the tagged topic as the central focus of the post, others will merely touch on it. If you'd prefer to scroll through a timeline of posts, head to my Archive.

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