The greenest new tech trend just might come from luxury old masters like Rolex and Patek Philippe. Dr. Saul Griffiths introduced the idea of “heirloom design” to the consumer electronics industry at the Greener Gadgets symposium in New York. Product manufacturers such as Dell, Intel, and Nokia were asked to imagine cell phones, PCs, and other gadgets being designed to last and even appreciate with age.
Dr. Griffith’s epiphany came to him after a project to track his personal energy usage demonstrated the kilowatt-hogging impact of the gadgets in his life. Electronics zap a tremendous amount of energy throughout their product lifecycle, from manufacturing to use to disposal. The goal should be to “design for the age of consequence,” said Griffith, “cell phones that will last for years, or a laptop that I’ll pass on to my son.” For small business, it is an interesting question to pose. Is there a way to reposition your company so that you are creating things that will be lovingly cherished in future generations?
To learn more about your own personal energy usage, check out Griffith’s online energy calculator he created in partnership with Raffi Krikorian: Wattzon.com.