When we consider adopting a new piece of technology there are lots of things that sway our decision. Is it fast enough, does it have enough storage for me, is it mobile, does it come in pink? The world of technology is confusing enough that frankly most of us don’t go looking for additional reading material to make our decisions. But there is often a key question that we aren’t asking ourselves — Is it environmentally friendly and sustainable?

Surely it comes as no surprise that whether it is a large server or a small iPhone, technology contains precious and often harmful materials. Not many of us could last a day without interacting with a device that runs on lithium batteries. With all of this in mind, how should the layperson ensure they are part of the solution and not the problem?

Buy carbon neutral

Keep an eye out for companies that have pledged to achieve carbon neutrality. For example, Apple have committed to achieving this by 2030, while there are players like the photocopier company Ricoh who have already achieved carbon neutral status.

Recycle responsibly

Tech shouldn’t just go in the bin when you are done with it. If you are a consumer, check with your local waste facility on appropriate disposal. If you are a business seek the advice of your IT provider as you will also want to ensure your data is securely erased.

Power consumption matters

It may surprise you to learn that an average business’s server can use around $1000 per year in power usage. This is not only a costly power bill but a high use of emissions. The smartest way to address this is to use current technology. Newer tech is far more power conscious.

Next time you’re in the market for a new piece of technology, take a second to think about the environment. If you aren’t keen to do the research yourself, any responsible IT provider can point you in the right direction.

Geoff Augutis is a strategic IT consultant and Company Director of Queensland Computers in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.