We may think we’re a culture that gets rid of our worn technology at the first sight of something shiny and new, but a new study shows that we keep using our old devices(装置) well after they go out of style. That’s bad news for the environment — and our wallets — as these outdated devices consume much more energy than the newer ones that do the same things.
To figure out how much power these devices are using, Callie Babbitt and her colleagues at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York tracked the environmental costs for each product throughout its life — from when its minerals are mined to when we stop using the device. This method provided a readout for how home energy use has evolved since the early 1990s. Devices were grouped by generation — Desktop computers, basic mobile phones, and box-set TVs defined 1992. Digital cameras arrived on the scene in 1997. And MP3 players, smart phones, and LCD TVs entered homes in 2002, before tablets and e-readers showed up in 2007.