All of Amazon's newest devices will be gentle on the environment

Amazon Fire Tv Lifestyle Official
Amazon Fire Tv Lifestyle Official (Image credit: Amazon)

What you need to know

  • Amazon today announced new environmentally friendly initiatives for its products.
  • A new low-power mode will roll out to all wall-powered Amazon Echo and Fire TV devices via OTA update.
  • Amazon also announced that al Echo and Fire TV devices it'll be announcing at today's event will be primarily made from recycled materials.

Amazon's products are going to become a lot more environmentally friendly, the company announced today. It'll be doing this not just on the hardware and software front, but also through initiatives intended to keep the overall energy and carbon profile of the company low.

Software-wise, Amazon is rolling out a new "Low Power Mode" to all of its wall-powered Echo and Fire TV devices. It'll be doing this through an over the air update that'll help these products draw less energy when you're not using them. Amazon says that it'll be adding a new energy dashboard to its Alexa app. You'll be able to see how much power is being used by your Fire TV or Echo products, at least in the U.S. Amazon will also let Alexa help you conserve energy with what it calls "hunches," The company uses the example of a light bulb. In a house with Alexa-connected smart lights, the assistant will automatically turn it off if it detects you're not home helping you conserve energy. Scaling this up across thousands of households and other smart-home devices, and it's easy to see the energy savings something like this could accrue.

Amazon will also build all of its devices to be sustainable in terms of hardware. The company say that all Echo and Fire TV devices that it's announcing today are made out of recycled material, whether its plastic of aluminium. This includes even some of the power adapters it'll be shipping. It adds that the packaging will also be made from either responsibly managed forests or recycled sources."

Amazon also announced that it'll be building new wind and solar farms and investing in renewable energy projects until it can " account for the energy consumption of all Amazon devices". It's a lofty and noble-sounding goal, but rampant consumerism isn't good for the environment, and no one pretends that it's otherwise. However, companies like Amazon working within this framework to be more carbon neutral is the lesser of the true evils.

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Michael Allison