February 18, 2009

rock, paper, phone!

These days there are all kinds of new ways to use technology. Often that isn't considered a "green" thing, but it occurs to me that smart phones (and in some cases, standard cellphones) might have an angle.

My theory supposes that people are buying the phones, regardless. I know the products themselves are not great for the environment. But if people already have these phones, it is kind of cool that they can use them in ways which will save paper.

Rather than printing things form the computer, many sites are adding the option of sending the information straight to your phone. I've seen Epicurious recipes, the Courage Campaign, and Google Maps all offer a phone option. Even the safe seafood cheat-sheet from the Monterey Bay Aquarium can be sent to your phone rather than printing out the little card! No doubt there are many more similar resources taking advantage of the technology.

Additionally, the phones are offering different applications and tools which might make the need for notepaper a thing of the past. One such application that I've been playing with is reQall.

I haven't done any calculations, but I'm guessing the amount of paper saved isn't going to balance out the environmental damage from the phone and battery parts. But like I said, if people are going to own these phones anyway, it is kind of cool that they can help streamline information and maybe conserve other resources in the process.

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