Scarcity rare earths

Worn thin: the limits of a “logic of innovation”

People overwhelmingly value battery life over “thin”. Numerous studies have backed the idea that people want battery life more than any other “innovation”. So why do manufacturers seem to sideline this straight-forward desire in favour of “thin”?

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Guest post: Restarting Design and Technology

This is guest post by Steve Parkinson, co-founder of Teach Design, a group of Design and Technology teachers. He talks about the opportunities for collaboration with The Restart Project in the classroom.

Photo by Friends of the Earth Hackney

Why we care about measurement – introducing our Fixometer concept

People love to get their gadgets fixed. There is absolutely no doubt about it. But what we would like to more clearly demonstrate the environmental benefits to repairing.

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Open data for a truly circular economy

We talked at the Nesta Hot Topics session on how “open data” can help us use things for longer, and have a better idea of how they are recycled at end of life. Open data means what it says on the tin. Data sets are that accessible, useable and made available to the general public. […]

sustainable design

Sustainable design: focus on gadget longevity

We spoke at the Indie Tech Summit in July. There was a great deal of discussion about the broken business models for apps and online services, which are essentially based on corporate surveillance. The user gets a free product in exchange for selling his or her data. And very few users understand what they are […]

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Exploring our e-waste: opening gadgets and learning about disposal

We went to the Open Knowledge Festival in Berlin this month to run what we called an “E-waste Exploration“. More than anything, we wanted to test the idea of running future events, like hackathons. And we were more than convinced to do that! Get in touch if you would like to be involved in future explorations […]

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How to grow a circular economy

Last year, our TEDx talk raised the question of how to move towards a people-centred circular economy. This question is more relevant than ever. Recently, we contributed to the Environmental Audit Committee’s ongoing inquiry on Growing a Circular Economy – our evidence follows below. Thanks to researcher Lara Houston for turning our concerns and ideas into this document. 1 […]

apple energy

Energy, emissions and our gadgets

Apple is in full PR-blitz mode today with an announcement about reducing its emissions. Very timely, as we’re currently taking an online course on Life Cycle Assessment, which is a way to measure the natural resources used over the whole course of the life cycle of a product, from extraction, production, transport, use (including reuse) […]

ugo resource

Let’s give repair a chance!

Post originally published on the blog of Resource Conference, a free event on the circular economy. In conversations on the circular economy, especially related to electronics, we often feel that repair is little more than an afterthought. Yet, extending the lifespan of an existing device provides tangible benefits: it reduces waste management costs as well as […]