By Larry Magid

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – As many around the country celebrated Earth Day on Monday, it’s also a good time to look at ways technology is both helping and hurting the environment.

Some of the positives: many technology companies are cutting down on the use of some resources. Reading newspapers and documents on computer screens, tablets or smartphones means fewer paper is being used and likewise, fewer trees being chopped down. Using email to communicate also helps cut down on the paper factor and also in terms of saving on the fuel it takes to get a letter from place to place. The same can be said about telecommuting or participating in online video conferencing.

There’s also the technology that fuels electric and hybrid vehicles. And while there are a lot more electronic devices nowadays than before, they are becoming increasingly efficient, as the demand for energy grows.

But while these electronic devices are more energy-efficient, they still use a lot of power. And that doesn’t take into account the amount of power being used when devices are left on while a consumer is away.

As consumers, doing things like unplugging or turning off devices are part of the solution. And although the “latest and greatest” devices are often craved by tech lovers, slowing down the replacement cycle also helps the environment.

You can hear Larry Magid Tech Report Monday through Friday at 3:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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