Where do your gadgets really come from?
The folks behind Sourcemap, a crowdsourced, open source project, hope to answer that question by cataloging where the components that make up our devices originate. It’s an effort to provide a measure of supply chain transparency, according to project founder Leo Bonanni (see his Greener Gadgets 2010 talk below). Given the controversial, wasteful and outright dubious sources of some of the materials that wind up in our smartphones, this is a sorely-needed window into the world of electronics manufacturing for eco- and socially-conscious consumers.
More importantly, Sourcemap attempts to determine a realistic measure of an item’s carbon footprint by taking a more comprehensive look at how a device is sourced and manufactured. It’s early days still, but already some of the data astounds.
Check out Sourcemap for the story behind your favorite devices. Or if you’re somehow in the know, contribute so that you can help paint a more accurate picture of the environmental impact of our gadget-loving ways.