Let’s Get Ethical

Have you thought much about the environmental impact of your purchases?  Manufacturing a product requires enormous amounts of energy and electricity, as well as fuel for transportation.  Goods movement can degrade our roadways, pollute our oceans and have unintentional, but harmful, long-lasting impacts on the environment.
The arrival of the iPhone 4 is certain to place an increased demand on resources, as sales for the product have skyrocketed.  Apple and AT&T have reported a staggering, 600,000 pre-orders for the newest iPhone, with 13 million other people completing eligibility checks to verify if they, too, can get their hands on the phone via upgrade.  By the way, this all happened in the last 48 hours.  Piper Jaffray analysts estimate 1 million units could be shipped in the first three days.  On that note, it’s worth pointing out that Apple is considered one of the greenest companies around.  Greenpeace ranked them at the top among electronics companies as of January 2010. Apple wants you to know this.  They’ve posted environmental reports on every product.  Find it here.  They’ve also laid out how they’ve reduced their environmental footprint over the years.  My point, you ask?  Regardless of whether you support Apple, believe their intent, or claim “I’m a PC and Windows 7 was my idea,” it’s a breath of fresh air to know that the world’s largest tech company, with perhaps the hottest product in the world, shows an interest in sustainability.
The U.S. Energy Information Association says during the summer months, electricity usage rises most significantly than at any other point throughout the year.  Therefore, as we head into the summer – maybe while you’re programming your new iPhone – think about sustainability, and then ask yourself, where are all the iPhone 3s going?  Let’s hope they are being recycled. That would be the ethical thing to do, right?
Interested in Sustainability Ethics? UCLA Extension’s Public Policy Program is offering a one-day seminar on June 25.  Find out more here.
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