Planet & Pixels

The course begins by introducing World Cleanup Day and Planet & Pixels, aiming to enlighten participants on the importance of environmental activism and the role of community-driven cleanup efforts. Holger Holland discusses the significance of World Cleanup Day, encouraging participants to consider the impact of collective action. A brief reading material provides an overview of the topics, followed by a discussion to engage participants with the material further.

The course transitions to addressing digital waste, starting with an analogy between physical and digital waste to emphasize their similarities and differences, particularly in their environmental impacts. Holger Holland leads a discussion, supported by a PowerPoint presentation, to deepen understanding. Key statistics highlight the growing issue of digital waste, including its contribution to electronic pollution and the alarming rate at which e-waste is generated. The presentation contrasts physical and digital waste, noting the invisibility and permanence of digital waste compared to the tangible, degradable nature of physical waste. It underscores the significant environmental and social implications of digital waste, such as energy consumption, resource depletion, and its contribution to the digital divide.

An article for week 2 expands on these points, presenting the environmental impact of digital waste. It describes the vast volume of e-waste, the substantial energy consumption by data centers, and the predominance of junk emails. The article calls for proactive measures, such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs and consumer education, to mitigate digital waste’s environmental impact.

A game titled “Become a Digital Waste Detective” engages participants in identifying common sources of digital waste, encouraging them to reflect on their digital habits and recognize areas for improvement.

Overall, the course aims to raise awareness about the environmental impact of both physical and digital waste, advocating for responsible consumption and sustainability practices. Through discussions, readings, and interactive activities, participants are encouraged to consider the broader implications of their actions and the importance of concerted efforts in addressing environmental challenges.