It's pretty clear that we all need to make substantial changes to how we live if we are going to tackle the issues concerning climate change and the environment. Making sure we keep up with developments in consumer products is taking its toll on the environment. Rather than building new devices all the time, we should really be looking at keeping them working for as long as possible.
There are already gadgets available that use GPS and a host of other electronic systems to tag and track products. As these electronic gadgets gain popularity, they become ever more accessible to the masses because they become cheaper to buy. A few years ago, Amazon launched their 'Amazon Dash' buttons which are small electronic devices costing less than £5 that you can stick on products like your washing machine or dishwasher. When you run out of detergent, you simply press the button and the device orders the detergent for you. A pretty neat idea but the concern with all this convenience is the impact of the manufacture of these devices on the environment. Each device houses a small circuit board containing lots of electronic components. Most electronic components use rare earth metals and some of these metals are in short supply. Then there's the plastic casing and the issue of the disposal of the product at the end of its life. Is it really necessary to have so much convenience just to order more consumables? I mean, how much more difficult is it to just do it online or straight from a smartphone seeing as those items already exist?
The issue with all these gadgets is the impact on the worlds resources, the true cost of their production and the implications they are likely to have in the future. It seems like a great idea to be able to track an item by sticking a cheap GPS unit on it, but how much toll on the earth has the manufacture of that GPS item taken? And what about all that extra electromagnetic radiation that is being emitted? What effect is it having on our bodies?
iFoundThis is a method of tagging items to help with item loss recovery without the need for any electronics, batteries or complex material production. Instead, tags are simple printed labels that are stuck on existing devices. The labels contain a unique URL code that assist the finder in returning the item to its owner. If the item is ever lost, all the finder needs to do is use their smartphone or laptop to complete a very quick form. The owner is then notified that their item has been found and arrangements can be made between the owner and finder to recover the item.
If items need to be recovered in the post or via a courier, iFoundThis attempts to minimise the amount of packaging used to collect and relay the item. And where possible, packaging is biodegradable and made from recycled material.
If you care for the environment and want to help make a change to the future of our world and existence, ditch the mass produced electronic gadgets and tags that are just making the process of clearing up all the plastic and rubbish in the world that much more difficult. We really don't need them just for the sake of a bit of convenience.
Written by Andrew Simeou
13th Jun 2019
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