Green technology is obviously the main focus of coverage for us here at EarthTechling. Other online media outlets exist as well that cover what we do, and we are always curious to know what they think about this giant beast of a topic and whether or not it is really worth the time of day. To get some perspective on this, we recently turned to uber big green blog TreeHugger and its green technology writer Jaymi Heimbuch for her thoughts.
Heimbuch has long been interested in covering green tech, formerly being the managing editor of EcoGeek.org before joining TreeHugger, which is owned by Discovery Communications. If you are on Twitter, you can also follow Heimbuch at @JaymiHeimbuch.
EarthTechling (ET) : TreeHugger obviously covers a wide swath of green related topics. Why is green technology one of the chosen areas?
Jaymi Heimbuch: I think it comes down to the fact that green technology and its role in our lives simply can’t be ignored. Technology is pervasive — from the first flick of a light switch in the morning to the data centers that keep the Internet running — and that means the potential for ensuring the technology we use does the least harm and the most good is a top priority.
Some may argue that technology is exactly what got us into this climate mess, and the less we rely on “stuff” and quick fixes, the better off our planet is. To a large extent, that’s true, but it’s also altruistic. Technology isn’t going anywhere. From the smart grid and technology for energy efficiency, to improving the design and recyclability of our gadgets, to open sourcing repair manuals and carbon emissions, there is a seemingly endless list of the way technology is part of our lives and, more importantly, can be harnessed to make our world more sustainable without our needing to give up very much.
Covering the discussion in green technology is as important on TreeHugger as covering greener design or politics.
ET: What makes green technology interesting to cover as a writer in this particular niche?
Heimbuch: Oh my… what *doesn’t* make it interesting? I guess my favorite thing about covering green tech is how broad the topic is. I’m bouncing around from the improved design of a certain gadget to the security of the smart grid, from new dashboards for homeowners helping them to be energy efficient, to waxing philosophical about the pros and cons of digitization for our materials consumption.
It keeps me talking to amazing people who inspire me on a daily basis, like the students behind the Bloom Laptop concept that can revolutionize how we manufacture, maintain and recycle electronics, to the ocean scientists on the Mission Blue Voyage who are using new technologies to track our ocean’s fisheries or keep whales and ships from colliding.
While many green tech writers settle into a niche, like green data centers, or computers, or the smart grid, TreeHugger encourages me to explore everything. And because technology is everywhere, my job stays endlessly interesting.