With technology being so prevalent in our age of existence, it is critical to acknowledge and integrate technological sustainability in our sustainable development goals. Technology requires a massive use of energy, there are small things individuals can do to reduce their online impact. 

Reduce your carbon footprint by doing things as simple as cleaning out your email! Delete old emails, unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t read any more, and block spam as best as you can. Anti-spam filters for Outlook like SpamBully and MailWasher might come in handy. Reducing the level of spam or clutter in your email will actually save energy and battery on your electronic device. 

Protecting the battery lifespans of your devices is a huge help in reducing the impact of technology on landfill waste. The Improper disposal of batteries releases toxins in the air harming the environment. This means, don’t leave your devices plugged in while charging, keep brightness low, and use local storage programs other than iCloud (or equivalent). Repair your broken devices or buy second hand—just like we do with clothes! This is a useful way to not only save resources, but save your own money. 

In the same vein, recycling your electronic waste is one of the most important things you can do to be sustainable in this field. Simple processes like printing can create immense amounts of waste, to avoid this you should drop your inkjet cartridges off at any office supply store, like Staples or Office Depot; or mail your empty ink cartridges back to the original manufacturer. Similarly, in order to safely dispose of batteries with lithium or batteries of greater than 9 volts, put clear packing, masking or electrical tape on the batteries’ terminals or sandwich the batteries between two layers of tape. These batteries should be placed in a container separate from other batteries that don’t require being taped.


Allison Barusevicius