Since the turn of the Millennium, new green technologies have been expected to act as an ignition for environmental solutions. However, that has sadly been the case in many aspects. Despite the introduction of green innovations such as IT and cloud solutions, e-books, e-mails, PDFs and many more, paper consumption continues on the rise. The illusion of lower levels of deforestation thanks to digital innovations has tricked many, nonetheless the truth is another one. Markets such as China and developing African countries have intensified their paper production drastically, bringing the total production of paper and cardboard of 2014 to 403 million tons. Naturally, the $22,365 million that these signify are not going to stop the industry of continuing with its production. However not just producers, but consumers and their demand for a market are also one of the major fuels, if not the largest, to this industry.
Green IT as part of businesses
Developed countries would be expected to use their access to green innovations and environmental consciousness to their advantage, but the numbers prove otherwise: while the global consumption of paper per capita rest at 57kg per year, the same statistic for the united states represents a jaw-dropping 229kg for 2014. The Economist estimates that while an Indian citizen consumes 0.23 twelve meter trees a year, a Belgian one consumes 8.5 trees a year. Is it that there are really no digital innovations serving as sustainable substitutes to paper consumption? That is hardly the case, as have been proven by tools such as Kindle, Gmail or Beamium.
A good example, if not the best, for a field where the implementation of green, innovative technologies is expected to reduce paper consumption, is that of the office environment. Digital innovations such as screen-sharing solutions, e-mails or conference calls have reduced the needs to fax documents, use photocopy machines, print extensive reports or share diverse key files on a physical form. Beamium is a great example, which permits users to share their PDF documents online in a matter of seconds. In this manner, during meetings, there is no need to print various extensive reports or even to send them via fax or mail to company members in other locations. Moreover, the tool permits all users to discuss the documents precisely, through features such as a laser pointer and zooming options, so that time is saved and work productivity is enhanced. The tool not only helps the environment, but also saves large amounts of money in paper and ink cartridges, just to name a few. Not implementing such technologies at the office would not only be illogical, but would also have severe results on the environment.
What is stopping the implementation of green technologies?
The human being is a creature of customs that requires some time to get adapted to new trends and innovative technologies. Green digital technologies such as e-books and audiobooks have been around for a while, nonetheless the great majority of readers still prefers to have a printed version of their newest bestseller to underline their favorite passages and decorate their shelves at home. It is understandable that the breakthrough of green technological solutions, especially in the IT and communications field, has still some steps to cover. Tools such as Beamium provide major contributions towards such challenges, since through user friendly and simple interfaces, the bias of learning curves and the involved initial rejection are avoided. Each of this new green digital innovations is a small pillar that will help edify a sustainable and environmentally friendly future. The solutions and the will for change are there, it is just time to combine them and enjoy the awaited results.
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