News ‘Green Tech’ with the Sustainability Committee 31.01.2024

On Tuesday morning, Sustainability Committee members Serena and Livia presented an assembly to Middle School students on the environmental and human impact of the technology we use.

They explained the human cost of our overconsumption of technology by drawing attention to cobalt mining operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cobalt, used in the manufacture of rechargeable batteries in our smartphones, computers and electric vehicles, is being mined by men, women and children in extremely dangerous and exploitative conditions for minimal or no pay. Children are often abducted or trafficked to work in the mines, and exposure to this valuable element can cause cancer.

Moreover the environmental cost of mining cobalt has also been great, with large swaths of the DRC landscape devastated by the process. Millions of trees in the Congo Basin have been cut down to make way for new mining projects, and the disposal of toxic waste has polluted water supplies and contaminated crops.

Serena and Livia then gave advice on how to maintain our current technology to reduce the need to purchase new tech items. This ranged from clearing out screenshots or unused apps to completely powering off phones when not in use. Armed with their newfound knowledge, students spent the remainder of the assembly period in their form rooms implementing these tips to prolong the lifespan of their school iPads.