Apple Store on Earth DaySource: Apple


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Today is Earth Day. Originally established 30 years ago, it's a day dedicated to raising awareness of the environmental issues we face on this big blue marble. The past 10 years have seen a drastic increase in technological advancement. From the phone you hold in your hand to the way you turn on the lights in your house, technology surrounds our daily lives. Some tech is good, like smart thermostats that help you regulate your energy usage. Some tech has long-lasting environmental impacts, like mining of the necessary minerals used to build our phones.

Together with our sister sites Android Central, CordCutters and Windows Central, iMore spent some time researching what it means to practice environmental friendliness in today's tech-driven world. Are we doing our part? Is there more we can do? We don't have all the answers, but we do have some very interesting stories about technology and its environmental impact today.

The nature of technology, especially when it comes to phones, is to get the new hotness every year or two. Apple even has an iPhone Upgrade Program to help you get a new one every single year. What happens to our old tech? Phones, computers, keyboards, webcams, routers ... these things are definitely not biodegradable. Even most phone cases are little more than landfill fodder when you get a new phone design (though companies are making biodegradable ones now). What can we do to reduce, reuse, and recycle our tech to keep tech materials from filling up the earth?

A lot of companies, especially Apple, have been touting their efforts to reduce their environmental impact. Apple makes Macs and MacBooks out of 100% recycled aluminum. Google is 100% carbon neutral in its processing. What does all of this actually mean, in terms of tech's effect on the environment?

If you've been asking yourself these same questions, and have a particular interest today, on Earth Day, please check out our researched and comprehensive guide (links are in the sidebar on the left on desktops). If you have more questions, or just want to talk about the issues, please say, "Hello" in our forums.