Everyday Computing, Features, Technology

Outside The Box

By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

AS we approach Christmas, there are reminders that beyond the serious and the sombre, there is room for festivity and celebration in our lives. It is easy to see why, not only manifest in our religion and the season of Advent, but also in our illuminated buildings and public spaces. Inside our homes too, we have the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas. The fresh paint and cleaning, the hustle and bustle, and the rich-red sorrel. Our cheerful spirit of Christmas is intoxicating, with humanity and warmth overflowing.

As you prepare to setup your Christmas tree, complete with the mesmerising display of Christmas lights, spare a thought to the items under the tree. What presents will be there? What will they represent? How do you sneakily disguise these items past your family?

With a dazzling array of electronic items available, you might already have your eye on some fancy gadgets such as: smart phones, eBook readers, electronic assistants, and tablet computers. The usual safety precautions apply, such as:

* Changing default passwords;
* Ensuring the correct voltage;
* Being careful not to overload electrical circuits.

Such devices rely on connections to the power grid, and therefore have an impact on fossil fuel emissions. The climate campaign goal of ‘1.5 to stay alive’ featured in the recent (COP21) Paris Agreement. Does that factor into your choices when buying Christmas gifts?

Beyond our traditions of merriment and gift giving, it might be time to think outside the box. Consider the following choices:
* Bingeing on Christmas treats, or more healthy consumption;
* Giving gifts for their own sake, or for more genuine reasons;
* Purchasing power-hungry devices, or choosing low-energy items.

If we think about the impact of our actions on ourselves, on others, and on the environment, we are likely to make better choices. The issues of living in a connected world, increased power consumption, and fossil fuel emissions need to feature in our actions and choices. If we “act today to change tomorrow” we could do our part to improve our health, and the health of the environment.

To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The VOICE.

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