The increased awareness of climate change and focus on renewable resources has been a boon to the green industry. Fully electric cars — although still expensive and impractical for most of us — are in fashion. Then, there are the wind farms springing up around the US, and talk of wave-powered generators along the east coast. Of course, dams have long been a source of mechanical and electrical power.
It’s difficult to ignore the ‘go green’ mantra that’s sweeping through the media and permeating virtually every industry. The way I see it, most of the activity is focused on marketing and printing consumer-friendly green stickers that proclaim enhanced efficiency of sorts for the same old products. Even so, it is time for us to take responsibility for our carbon footprint by using what we have more intelligently, by buying more efficient products in the first place, and — for electronics enthusiasts — by designing with efficiency in mind.
Have you ever done the right thing for the wrong reason? When I explored the option of replacing the halogen bulb in my Electrix magnifying work lamp with LEDs, I was simply tired of singeing my knuckles when working on SMT components, and couldn’t find a compact fluorescent to fit the bulb socket. I was also looking for an excuse to work with the new high-intensity LEDs on the market. Of course, the ‘right reason’ to make the move would have been increased efficiency and an associated reduction in greenhouse gases.