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How Google Home Assistant's new voice activation promotes a more sustainable future


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This year has heard a massive cry from the general public about climate change, from environmental lawyers gluing themselves to the streets of London as an act of 'civil disobedience', to weeks of climate change protests led by students around the world, to semi-naked activists from the Extinction Rebellion interrupting a Commons debate on Brexit.

Headlines and tweets are continuously detailing extremely concerning weather conditions, and yet those in high positions in government are still jeopardising the environment whilst actively denying its effect. 'Eco-anxiety' has become a common feeling, and more people are becoming overwhelmed by the existential challenge of climate change.

Image Credit: TheDigitalArtist via Pixabay

This year has seen the launch of David Attenborough's Netflix show Blue Planet II and the brand new Our Planet, and we've seen a 53% decrease in single-use in plastic within the last 12 months alone. Over half of consumers say that they've reduced the amount of disposable plastic they've used in the last year, according to a report which praises the 'Attenborough Effect'. 

Earth Day

Now, to mark the recent Earth Day on 22 April, design and technology company Bynd has collaborated with Google Home Assistant to create a new voice activation app that encourages users to speak to our 'Future Planet'. The purpose of the app is to ensure people adapt to live in a more sustainable way through technology. The app, called 'Future Planet', gives you eight challenges over a period of time, that you can do at home, simply, easily and for free. Each challenge promotes more sustainable living and offers small changes that can make a big difference.

Just imagine if every household in the UK cut down on their water and single plastic usage over a period of eight weeks? So, here are just a few things that people can do at home to help 'save the planet' through the new Bynd app.

Single-use plastic

Fact: The planet is drowning in single-use plastics. We produce roughly 300 million tons of plastic each year, and only half of it is disposable. Even worse, only 10% of plastic items are recycled.

Challenge: I challenge you to go 24 hours without consuming any single-use or disposable plastics. 

Image Credit: Congerdesign via Pixabay

Plastic Straws

Fact: Every day 500 million plastic straws are thrown away in America alone. That's enough to circle the Earth twice or fill 125 school buses.

Challenge: Next time you go out to eat (or drink), just say no to the straw! 

Water waste

Fact: On average, 22% of the water used in the home comes from washing machines. One load of laundry takes 151 litres of water, and drying it requires five times the energy it did to wash it.

Challenge: To be more eco-friendly with your next clothes wash. Keep your machine's temperature low, make sure it's full, and switch it off when you're done. 

Image Credit: PhotoMIX-Company via Pixabay

Technology is often seen as having a negative effect on the environment, but with initiatives such as this technology can be rethought of as a force for looking after the environment.

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