There are some out there who don't think much of Earth Day, and others who take it way too far. For those who take the day as an opportunity to consider ways to maybe waste a bit less and improve power use and the like, however, Apple is joining in the fray with a new video showing off just what it does, environmentally speaking, in everyday business operations, and what it has plans to do in the near future.
The video in question—with the almost shockingly simple title “Better”--was shot at several Apple (News - Alert) facilities, and was narrated by Apple's CEO Tim Cook, showing off some of the Apple facilities in question's environmental prowess. But Cook, in his narration, didn't stop with just what Apple was doing right now; Cook carried on to describe Apple's plans to reduce the amount of packaging material used in its shipments, and where it couldn't reduce, to use more environmentally-friendly, “greener” materials. Cook also noted that the company would “do everything we can to keep our products out of landfills.”
A great start, but Cook carried on from there, pointing out that Apple has already made several major changes, including data centers that are powered primarily by solar and wind technologies, as well as engaging in construction of a manufacturing operation that “...runs on 100 percent clean energy.” Apple is also noted to be working on product designs outright that focus on recycled materials in the construction of the overall product. So far, at last report, every one of Apple's data centers are powered by renewable energy, and corporate campuses turn to renewable energy sources for 86 percent of total power use, bringing the use of renewable energy at Apple corporate facilities up fully 169 percent from what it was just over the previous year. Even Greenpeace gave Apple significant nods for its achievements; in 2012 Greenpeace castigated the company for turning to “dirty energy” to power its cloud-based systems, but a recent report from the group called Apple “...the most innovative and most aggressive [major cloud brand] in pursuing its commitment to be 100 percent renewably powered.” Apple's recently-emerged patent for a MacBook Air that's largely solar powered shouldn't hurt on that front, either.
Apple really is showing off its prowess; and the sheer kind of potential that renewable energy sources can have for everyday purposes as well as corporate interests. While fossil fuels will necessarily provide a large portion of our energy needs for several years to come, increased research into solar and wind technologies, as well as battery technologies, can help make such technologies more accessible to the common man, and more likely to put said technologies to use. For many, solar and wind technologies are simply unavailable; whether priced out of the reach of the average homeowner, or largely useless due to conditions on the ground—not enough wind or sunlight to make much of a dent in power use—there's clearly room for the technology to improve just as much as there is room for the user to make better use of such technology.
Only time will tell just how far it can all go, as well as what new developments will be made to help spur this technology on. But for now, Apple is showing us all the way toward a cleaner and greener future, one that's well worth considering for all of us.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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