When you hear the word green, what’s the first image that pops into your head? For me, it’s rolling hills – not dissimilar to those one sees driving north from San Francisco up highway 101 through Marin and Sonoma counties – almost impossibly green, plush and soft contrasted sharply against azure blue skies.
When the word is presented as the theme for a bunch of writers to consider and then proffer prose examining it from a particular view, such is the case (as by now you may have gathered) here at dot429, the visual changes. So, when this week’s theme, GREEN, hit my inbox I began to muse on the many shades that color takes in the tech world where I live. With the timing, my mind wended its way to rolling paths of another sort – the annual International Consumer Electronics Show.
With miles and miles of convention show floor, CES is among the largest technology gatherings in the world. Historically speaking, the tech industry has been among the most grievous offenders when it comes to anything even remotely looking environmentally friendly. The very process of developing semi-conductors, well … it’s pretty darn toxic. Of course this industry, like so many others, has spent considerable time of late addressing these trespasses; and while the process of making chips may not be any more enviro-friendly it’s unquestionable that the industry is making strides.
As I have every year for the last dozen or so, I recuperated from New Year’s and then made my way to Vegas for CES and found myself more than a little pleased to see the exponential growth of the floor space dedicated to companies tackling various aspects of ecologically sound tech solutions.
In 2009, I discovered the environmentally friendly booths by accident. Getting lost in one of the vast halls, I turned a corner and saw about a dozen companies with 10’ X 10’ booths. There was little to designate the space, other than an innocuous banner that was barely visible until you were immediately upon it.
The program sported a substantive section, chock full of products and eager entrepreneurs hawking wares. Row upon row of green-focused tech solutions from energy saving power supplies to renewable power sources, from recycling programs to products produced from old computer parts — the consumer electronics business seems finally to have caught on.
Beyond the bits and bytes, however, there are powerful movements coming from the technology sector when it comes to being more mindful of the planet. In 2009 efforts like Charity:Water have raised considerable sums and galvanized action by thousands.
Bottom line – those whose businesses have historically contributed to the deterioration of our planet are moving mindfully to make amends.