The Cleanweb has been hailed as the future of sustainable technology, but it involves much more than using greener, more efficient devices. The Cleanweb seeks to use the communications innovations made possible by the Internet — social media and shopping websites, for example — to further the progress of more sustainable lifestyle and business practices.
It will accomplish this by encouraging Internet users to pool their resources, take a closer look at their energy usage and take advantage of car sharing and other green practices. Of course, Cleanweb initiatives are no substitute for the use of more environmentally friendly devices.They are meant to enhance the environmental benefits of using more environmentally-friendly equipment, like xByte Refurbished Servers.
The Cleanweb Encourages Collaborative Consumption
Increasingly, consumers are placing less value on ownership and more value on access. Lending, trading, bartering and sharing are becoming the new purchasing. These practices allow consumers to get access to the things they want and need — and because they result in the production of fewer new products, they’re more environmentally friendly.
“Collaborative consumption” is the term that’s been coined to refer to the phenomenon of people pooling their resources. Through collaborative consumption, it’s no longer necessary to provide everyone with their own car or hotel room; online services like ZipCar make finding a car share easy and affordable. With sites like AirBnB, travelers no longer need to rent hotel rooms when they go on vacation; they can rent accommodations from a local resident. Soon enough you will be making all of your travel arrangements from your mobile device and accrue a minimal carbon footprint for your efforts.
Waste Could Become a Thing of the Past
At present, a large portion of our resources are wasted, but the Cleanweb is changing that. The organization Flash Food, for example, is fighting food insecurity in Arizona by collecting extra food from restaurants, caterers and convention halls and distributing it to the less fortunate.
Flash Food is addressing two problems at once with this strategy. Thirty-one percent of the food harvested in the United States each year is wasted; that’s 133 billion pounds of food going into the trash, or 1,249 calories per person per day. At the same time, 49 million Americans, including 15.9 million children, live with food insecurity — meaning that they don’t know where they’re going to get their next meal. In many cases, food insecurity is a result of skipping meals in order to save money for other essentials, like rent or utilities. Programs like Flash Food’s help the less fortunate get the food they need while curbing food waste.
Consumers Are Shopping for Energy Providers
Cleanweb initiatives are also helping households and businesses around the country reduce their energy consumption. Aside from lowering fuel consumption through car sharing programs and other green transportation services, websites like Choose Energy allow both commercial and private energy consumers to compare rates for utilities like electricity and natural gas in their areas. Due to recent deregulation of the energy industry, consumers today have more choices than ever regarding who they buy their electricity and natural gas from. By shopping around, some consumers are able to save up to 25 percent on energy costs over the course of a year.
In addition to giving consumers the opportunity to shop for lower rates, Choose Energy also provides information on each energy provider’s use of renewable power sources. For consumers worried about the environmental impact of their energy consumption, Choose Energy takes the guesswork out of finding an energy provider with green priorities.
The Cleanweb is a movement that seeks to leverage the communications, commerce and networking possibilities of the Internet to conserve resources, reduce waste and help consumers collaborate to share what they have, to everyone’s benefit. While recycled, refurbished and increasingly efficient sustainable technologies have made huge inroads in protecting the environment, it’s how people are using these technologies that will come to define the future of sustainable tech. The Cleanweb is already with us, and for millions of eco-conscious and socially responsible Web users, it’s not a moment too soon.