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Have you ever bought a product, only to discover that after a few months it has broken? Today, there is an emerging trend for products to be designed to last only a year or so.
For example: the proportion of large household appliances which were replaced within less than five years due to a defect increased from 3.5% to 8.3% between 2004 and 2013 - source
The issue is more deeply rooted than just costing consumers money, it also creates a huge strain on the environment.
Every year an estimated 2 million tonnes of Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment (WEEE) items are discarded by householders and companies in the UKs - source
A Longer Lifetime for Products: Benefits for Consumers and Companies
On a global level, aviation is responsible for 3.5% of anthropogenic (human originating) climate change, growing
significantly year on year. On a per person basis, the contribution of aviation far exceeds any other activity.
Air travel makes up at least 11% of the University’s carbon emissions* and this figure is growing year on year.
Following an international virtual conference in October, there are plans to improve our understanding of how much business air travel is undertaken across the whole University through better data collection. Alongside this, we want to start finding ways to make it easier for people to find alternatives to flying, either by using another mode of transport or by using virtual or video conferencing means.
The Living Lab has offered a unique opportunity such that if you are able to develop a functioning system, then they would be willing to provide a testing ground within the University. It may be that we could link it in with a future procurement system for the University. It could potentially be rolled out more widely to be a tool for general use too.
There are many ways in which energy is wasted in households and workplaces. In the past there have been many campaigns which aim at highlighting and reducing these problems, but
quite often they just consist of stickers on walls or leaflets on desks.
In the context of houses and buildings with increasingly connected appliances, this method of spreading information and awareness seems archaic.
Smart meters have been created in the past, but they have been poorly received, rolled out and often don't help people save energy. People don't waste energy because it's expensive - they do it because they forget.
The aim of GreenHack is to create something original which can really make an impact in the field of sustainability. We've set out some rules to help the event go more smoothly for everyone.