This year, we had lush weather pretty early in the year. Busting out the shorts and chowing down on an ice cream before Easter was pretty amazing, but it’s actually not that good of a sign for the planet. The crew at ORCA have been thinking about this. We all love the outdoors; cycling, skiing, walking the office dogs… but with these changing weather patterns those things we love could be at risk. As graphic designers it’s easy to take the side line and think we’re just around to make things look pretty, but there’s actually quite a bit of responsibility in the field, and consequently a lot of moral and ethical decisions a design agency should really be weighing up.
We’re all guilty of passing off environmental considerations as someone else’s problem, namely the people actually manufacturing the products we design and the governments setting the standards. With companies like Coca Cola chucking out an insane 3 million tonnes of plastic bottles in a year, it can be easy to think anything we do is pretty insignificant. But the often overlooked fact is the digital footprint is pretty darn big, and as designers we are the ones who can directly affect it.
“The internet is currently producing more than 830 million tons of CO2 every year, exceeding the amount emitted by air travel.”
That’s huge facilities dedicated to data storage, masses of infrastructure built around eCommerce and home delivery, and entire industries built around digital content. Turns out that nice fluffy Cloud is actually an ever growing complex of data storage facilities, which isn’t anywhere near as clean and friendly as Apple’s iCloud brand would have you believe.
“With great responsibility, comes great power.” – Uncle Ben, Spiderman