A few weeks ago, I did a semi-annual purge of my office, getting rid of old technology that I no longer used. Old Micro-USB cables that I'll never plug in again; phones, laptops, tablets, peripherals that are no longer used; boxes upon boxes from products that are long obsolete, the contents of which are strewn around my house like a circus of plastic. It was very cathartic.
But it was also the first time I really thought about where all this stuff was going. In previous years, and in previous tech purges, I'll admit to being haphazard with my detritus, putting most of it in the garbage, where it ends up in landfills that sit and sit and sit. This year, I was more conscientious with what I threw away, what I recycled, and what I explicitly sent away to be refurbished. Finding uses for old tech, especially for people who may need it more than you, is incredibly important right now — more so than ever — and it's with this in mind that we're launching, along with our sibling sites, Windows Central, iMore and CordCutters, a series of articles celebrating Earth Day.
It's kind of a weird time for the earth right now. We're in the middle of a global pandemic that's caused much of the world's manufacturing output, and the pollution it generates, to disappear. We're hearing stories of smogless cities and animals reclaiming the land, and it's a very clear indicator that as much as individuals can effect some environmental change, it's the world's biggest companies, and the governments in which they operate, that have the biggest impact.
And there is an impact on the environment when you choose to buy a phone, or a laptop, or an accessory from one company or another. Tech giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are increasingly focusing on how their contributions to climate change can be reduced or eliminated entirely, and they're approaching these monumental tasks in very different ways.
It's with that variety in mind that we're bringing you this collection of stories across three sites, all of which are meant to entertain, challenge, and potentially guide you in a buying direction that you may not have considered before. If you're on a desktop or laptop, the menu is to your left. If you're on mobile, it's right above you.
Thanks for reading, thanks for caring, and stay safe out there. We'd love to hear what you think about this project, so leave a comment below, too.
Happy Earth Day.
— Daniel Bader, Android Central managing editor