Think deeply about worth in your own context and in the context of the planet. Is it worth it? What are the implications of your decision for yourself next week, next month, next year? What are the implications of your decision on the planet next year, in the next ten years? What is the Earth Experience? Is it worth it?
- Pay for value: Pay for the stuff you value. Cheap takes from the future to serve the present. By paying for stuff, you will allow the people who make it to live off their work rather than to live off advertising. They will be better able to support the thing you value. They will be better able to improve it. If you don’t value something then stop using it because chances are it’s not that important to you. That’ll give you more time to enjoy the things you do value.
- Buy quality: Buy stuff that lasts.
- Create quality: Create stuff that lasts.
- Value yourself more: Remember, if it’s free, your personal data is the product, and the Earth is paying.
- Keep it local: The less distance stuff has to travel, the lesser the impact on the environment. For example, only save in the Cloud current stuff that’s really important to you. For all the older and less important stuff, save to a local drive.
- Avoid big brands: The big brands are always multinational. They are always at a distance. We cannot make the world a better place without reducing the power and influence of the big brands.
- Keep an eye on AI: The worth of our world will be increasingly dictated by artificial intelligence unless we actively seek to ensure we get an ethical, environmentally friendly AI.
Stop the waste. Reduce the waste. Think about the waste. We don’t have to sacrifice much of the good life that technology brings us. We must stop the waste, and by stopping the waste we will live better, more fulfilled, happier and healthier lives. And we’ll save this precious planet so that our children and their children and all other teeming life can enjoy it.
- Delete: Think of your digital world as a nightclub that’s full. You’re the bouncer. To let something in, something else has to leave. When you take those 10 photos, delete eight. Don’t let your digital garden get out of control. Weed every day. What are you going to remove today? Keep thinking about what you have, and whether you need it. Make review and delete part of your day.
- Don’t feed the ads: Not reacting to the ads is one of the most powerful things you can do to reduce waste. Don’t give your attention to the big brands.
- Avoid packaging: Eliminate as much packaging as possible because so much waste is packaging, and so much emotional marketing is packaging. A bar of soap is better than liquid soap in a plastic bottle.
- Reuse: Use the content or designs or code that others have created. Learn to love and admire old things. Wear your clothes until they’re threadbare, then fix them or get them fixed. Use your products until they are truly worn, until the parts break. Then fix them or get them fixed or use them to create new products. (Create that circular economy.) Change equipment and software as rarely as possible. Hold on to things. Get maximum use out of stuff.
- Share: Share what you have as much as possible. If you’re not using it, lend it or give it away.
- Turn off: When not using, shut down your computer, modem and other electrical appliances. Always optimize your use of energy. If you’re going away, shut everything off bar your fridge and freezer.
Digital has a weight. Digital is getting heavier and harder for the planet to bear. We must measure it. We need to weigh the consequences of our decisions on the world not just on our world. Everything in digital is physical. Endeavor not too put on too much digital weight. Keep things light.
- Lighter is better: Start with the lightest option possible. Text is perfect. Less text is even more perfect. Only use images when they convey important information. Always optimize your images. Only use video when it is clearly the best option and keep it as short as possible.
- Make digital weight visible: The problem often is that digital is invisible. Make the weight of digital visible. Talk about it. Show it. Find clever way to make it visible so that people can “see” it.
- Minimum data: Stop tracking and collecting data unless there’s an absolutely compelling reason to do so.
- Minimum power: Use the minimum power necessary to get the job done. Choose the minimum spec for the digital products you use.
- Burn your own energy: Get up and walk over to someone instead of sending that digital message. Burning your own energy reduces your weight and reduces the digital weight on the planet. Exercise more. Sweat more. Switch off technology. Plug it out for a while.
Too much speed kills the planet. Increasing speed has an exponential energy cost. Digital feeds the impulses. You must resist the instantaneous sense of convenience that digital offers. Rein in your gut instinct. Reasonable and consistent speeds are the most optimal and environmentally friendly approach.
- Wait: Learn to wait. Before you send that message, wait 30 seconds. Do you really need to send it? Do you really need to say “thanks” and send a big thread of correspondence back across the Web? Do you really need to use Google this time? Do you really need that ecommerce delivery so soon? Wait.
- Slow down: Break the digital habit. Resist the digital impulse. There can be so much joy is doing things slowly. Slow food. Slow fashion. Slow digital.
- Think: Use your brain more. Don’t think twice, think ten times. Use your memory. Remember. Don’t subcontract all your thinking to digital. Your mind is a wonderful place. Use it more.
World Wide Waste
- Free, weekly email
- Published since 1996
- Read some examples
- Subscribe with your email below