Saturday, October 27, 2007

I Am A Greener Computing Knitter

Every now and then, it's gratifying to see that we've supported the right company for the right reasons. The last computer we bought here was a Dell, and while all the highlights escape me just now, I can say we've all (all 5 of us) have been very happy with it. It does all we ask and then some. This morning I was reading over at EcoGeek and I saw that Dell has been pushing long and hard (since 1991 in fact) to be the environmentally conscious leader in the technology field. Everything from a tree planting program, a packaging optimization program, a used computer and peripherals program, a computer donation program; leaving a smaller carbon footprint is a high priority for these folks. Even their inbound components are considered. Instead of having the inbound parts delivered on those wooden pallets we've all seen, starting back in 2005 Dell has been having them brought in on "slip sheets", three-pound, .03-inch thick plastic sheets that has resulted in more than 8,000 tons of wood reduction for inbound shipments. More than 8000 tons!
In 2006,
Dell saved over 24,000 tons of packaging material by annual reduction and elimination of corrugated, plastic foam, and wood materials. Wow...
As if that's not enough, Dell also demands their design stage be greener.
Dell's Design for Environment (DfE) program incorporates into product development environmental attributes such as reduction of environmentally sensitive materials, decreases in equipment energy consumption, extension of product life span and utilization of parts that can be reused, resold or recycled. Extension of product life, I'd like my computer to live a little longer, thanks. Good idea, hmm?
So the next time you wonder what one person can do to help the environment, beyond shutting lights off when you aren't in the room, consider spending your computing dollars at Dell. We can change the world with our dollars.
Even knitters know this. Many knitters are seeking out handmade sweaters at thrift shops with an eye for the yarn therein. I know of at least three that have scored some very nice wool this way. They buy the sweater for a few dollars, carefully frog it (also known as taking it apart) and roll the wool into a ball to be used in some other project. So that $3 wool sweater that someone else found to be too itchy or ugly, or whatever, finds a new life in a pair of socks, or mittens or sometimes even a new sweater. Many knitters and spinners are seeing the eco-advantages to using vegetable dyes over alkaline ones, even more folks are using wooden needles. There are some amazing birch and bamboo needles out there, and some very soft soy yarn. Soy!
Even we knitters can change our world, one stitch, one dollar at a time.