Fight climate change and injustice - Integrate Sustainibility into /e/

I would like the idea of integrating sustainability standards into the /e/ operating system.
Besides the problem of sinking privacy our world is facing the great risk of climate change and global injustice.

There is a lot of interconnections between sustainability and digitalisation.
Open source overall is already a great way to advance this case. But I think there is a lot more that can be done about this.

Some ideas of an integration of sustainability to an operation system could be:

  • Try to use as few software resources as possible and therefore lower the use of energy.
  • Integrate tips about careful usage of technology e.g. the fact wifi needs less energy the mobile data or that streaming and using search engine generates a high need of energy
    -support and feature apps that follow one of the former points or supports a sustainable way of life in any other way (foodsharing, …)

I would be happy to hear about your thought about this topic and even more about other approaches and ideas!

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Another thing which I’d love to see is if all /e/ online services use green energy for their servers.
There are already many hosters out there who introduced this a while ago and I think it would also be a great improvement for the whole e foundation.
Or if switching to green energy is not fully possible, maybe evaluating the carbon emissions and compensating them by reinvesting in sustainable projects?

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I actually like the fact that /e/ does not communicate on environmental aspects.
I mean, it’s good if they have environmental practices in their operations but it shouldn’t be included in the marketing message, in my opinion.
The message to the consumer needs to be simple.

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i like this idea! This way /e/ would become the overall ethical OS

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I think this is an excellent idea that deserves the full attention of the e Foundation, but it should not penalize the team in their privacy objectives.

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That’s another good point. Because with this idea you’re asking /e/ to become expert in energy consumption. They need to build up this expertise in order to do what you say: to choose the hosts for their sever(s) and advocate good consumer behaviors (make people aware of data consumption of streaming services for example). That’s a different job than the programming that the /e/ team is currently doing. It’s closer to public relations, journalism, politics. Fairphone is doing a good job at that. But given its size I’d prefer /e/ to put all its today limited resources towards protecting our data. Don’t you think?

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In fact it all depends of the mission statement that /e/ is going for. If it is more awareness and, like Fairphone, serve as an example in its industry so other players follow. Or if it is to be The alternative OS for privacy for example.

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I agree totally ! The environment is important and gives an excellent image of being able to respect it, but given the size of the foundation, it may take time to do so!

I’m also thinking: assuming that the goal of /e/ is to raise awareness and they wanted to raise awareness about environmental issues, they would have worked on something else that a mobile OS. For communicating on privacy, however, a mobile OS is the perfect product.

For those interested in this themselves, I just found Kualo online - they seem to be a really ethical hosting provider. 100% green + free for nonprofits! (the lite to medium hosting packages)

Thank you all for your feedback :slight_smile:

I think you are right the main idea and priority of /e/ is privacy. So this should be the main focus in development, too. But if you would just keep the sustainability in mind when making decisions, it would already be a progress.

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I think your point about the goals of /e/ is right.

Anyway I think a mobile OS is a great way to rise awareness for environmental issues.
It could build a strong interconnection between your everyday life (smartphone) and sustainability.
Furthermore I think the issue of digital life and sustainability is even less known then the issue of privacy.

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/e/ is still a small project, let them do what they do best. Hopefully, after they grow enough and made a name of themselves, they can start branching out and making a difference in other areas. In the meantime there are already other projects already doing what you propose, from hosting companies to smartphone manufacturers.

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I think /e/ is on of the most friendly to our environment. They influence people the way to use their old phones instead of buying new ones. Is this not the perfect example for reducing emissions?

As a matter of fact, there are possibilities like co2-projects or green energy. but our beloved /e/-team is enough busy with working on all the supported devices and services.
I think this green energy thing is a future thing. when the community and the amount of people with the wish of user-data-friendly-operating-systems has grown. demanding green energy would be a project killer for /e/ (at the moment).

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Perhaps we should first turn our gaze towards Scaleway and their (green?) energy solutions.

And the energy topic is complex. Whatever energy provider you have, when you take power from the grid, you can’t choose if this power is from renewables, nuclear, or fossil fuels.

Thank you Ind1E.

I agree, climate change is probably the most important topic in present. The worth living future of mankind is at stake.

May be the first steps for /e/ are easy ones.
E.g. disable syncing pictures and videos to Nextcloud by default.

One of the biggest CO2 emissions in IT are caused by high traffic in cloud computing (in addition to video streaming).

I’m sure you’ve heard of Ecosia - the search engine that plants trees. I haven’t check for a while but they did not provide any privacy protection, and they take their results from Google… but I did use it for a while, and occassionally also at work where my activity gets mixed up with others.

An interesting read on the topic of energy consumption (sorry for the trackers): DeepMind AI Reduces Google Data Centre Cooling Bill by 40%. So technically Google is actually a good place to store your data… environmentally speaking I guess?

haha yes but arguably not for /e/