Peer-to-peer Education for Youths on Smart Use of Information and Communication Technologies
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International awareness campaign

Make young people aware of environmental consequences of not paying attention to the environment in their IT use.

Example: create a viral video and spread it on Facebook showing the impact of high renewal rate of mobile phones – showing the waste and dumping grounds in parts of Africa and the environmental costs of producing mobile phones – then asking viewers to try to use their phones longer than just one or two years.

Regulatory bodies

  • Facilitate the campaign, set its conditions.


  • Generate a public discussion about environmental responsibility related to IT.
  • Design a model that shows all elements related to IT production, use and trashing and their environmental consequences.
  • Clarify in which of these elements consumers can have which kind of influence.
  • Design a campaign to make people aware of what they can do.
  • Start a competition where groups of friends can put an effort in using as little energy as possible and still have fun and stay in touch with friends.

Social media developers

  • Make information, about how much energy is used through which IT practices, easy to find and easy to calculate by young people, e.g. develop an app in which it is easy for (young) people to calculate the amount of energy different options cost, for example streaming movies on different kinds of devices (phone versus pc). In this app energy use – and differences in devices and practices – should become visible. Make sure this app has the latest information and keeps up with new developments.
  • Develop attractive ways in which ideas and tips to save energy are presented and can be shared through social media.

Technology developer, e.g. developers of green or fair IT

  • Develop attractive ways to inform the public about differences in energy usage and environmental costs of different types of IT, convincing people to pay extra for sustainable equipment.
  • Use tips and information about saving energy in promotional campaign.

Young people

  • Find friends and interest them in how much energy certain practices cost, of your own and your friends’ mobile phones, laptops, televisions and other IT equipment.
  • Share information about saving energy through social media.
  • Implement energy saving ideas in your life.


Green default

Electronic devices should have the most ecological mode as a default setting.

Actions towards saving energy should happen automatically, or the user should get prompts and reminders. Changing the default towards less sustainable settings should cost extra effort for user.

Technology and software developers

  • Make sure that new devices have all kinds of ecological defaults, like shutting off chargers automatically and shutting down unused apps.
  • Create prompts and (smart) reminders to help consumers use their device with as little energy expenditure as possible. These reminders should take past behaviour into account, and give new information when this becomes available (e.g. an even better energy saving app) to be implemented in users’ behaviour.

Young people

  • Respond to prompts and reminders to avoid unnecessary energy use and assure a prolonged use of the electronic device and longer battery life.


  • Companies that do not cooperate towards more sustainability are being named and shamed on social media. When there is improvement, this is also made public.
  • Lobby with regulatory bodies to make ecological settings mandatory.

Regulatory bodies

  • Regulatory bodies (e.g. EU, governments) can make ecological mode as default mandatory for electronic devices.

Eye sensor

All displays and screens in people's homes should be equipped with eye trackers: they switch off these screens when the user is not looking at them.

Hardware developers

  • Further develop screens with sensors that respond to eye contact. Have a feature that people can indicate after how much time of non-contact, the screen should shut down/go into standby. Make these screens cheaper.
  • Add as an extra: when the user is using the screen to read, make it possible to (manually or automatically) switch to e-reading mode to protect the user’s eyes.
  • Bring them onto the consumer market.


  • Start a campaign to make people aware of the environmental and health benefits of using this type of screen instead of the ‘old-fashioned’ screens.
  • Generate a public discussion about environmental responsibility related to IT.

Creative recharging

Facilitate people to recharge their phone, tablet and laptop batteries in new ways, e.g. in fitness centres: using the energy they produce by sporting/working out, or by providing solar panel phone/tablet sleeves.


  • Find a fitness center – or a national chain of them – that is willing to invest in energy converters that convert mechanical movement into energy. Another possibility could be that the energy is used for making the air-conditioning work, or the lights or the showers in the fitness centre. This could also be done at an event (e.g. Roskilde, Lowlands)
  • In the beginning the fitness centre could give a discount on their fee to attract more people and get publicity.
  • Make sure there is a lot of positive media coverage so more people become aware of possibilities and of actual costs in terms of energy. Make it hip to work out this way.

Energy consumer

  • Tell friends about it; invite them to work out in a ‘green’ fitness center, also by social media.
  • Choose ‘green’ centers over fitness centres that do not offer this option, and take your device that needs charging.


Consumers should use computers with a CPU that fits the amount of needed power: excessive power can be shared.

When someone uses their computer for office tasks only, they do not need maximum performance. When there is excess in CPU capacity, it should be made possible to share it with other users. Example: this is quite similar to energy generated by local solar power cells that households share with their neighbourhood.


  • Create a smart prompt, to instruct users on how to share their CPU when they do not use/need it: it should be very easy to do, otherwise it will not work (not just for IT-smarties).
  • Make it possible to give away unused CPU to certain projects, like the seti@home project 15 years ago (computers that had their screensavers on were used to analyse radio signals from out of space).
  • Guarantee full safety and privacy for consumers who offer their CPU time.


  • When selling a device, make sure knowing exactly what the customer needs in terms of performance, and do not sell useless capacity but make sure the bought device fits the customer’s needs as close as possible.
  • Inform and instruct customers as good as possible so they can make an informed choice.
  • Inform customers about the possibility and advances of sharing CPU time they don’t use/need. As most devices are much stronger than the average user needs, chances of sharing are high.


  • Gather information about which projects need CPU time and put this on the internet.

Young people

  • Be aware of what activity you want to perform on your new device; buy the device that fits your needs best.
  • You can share overcapacity of CPU time in a project you choose to support.


Replace audio speakers of hi-fi sets and TVs with headphones to save energy.

Hardware developers and producers

  • Design and produce more variations in kinds of headphones to make them interesting for wider diversity of customers.
  • Be innovative in adding for example MP3 or USB-plug in the headphone, without increasing weight. This way energy consuming control apparatuses such as equalizers are not needed to play music.


  • Inform customers about environmental advantages of using headphones instead of audio speakers.
  • Inform customers about how to use headphones, to avoid hearing damage.

Young people

  • Buy headphones instead of audio speakers – make sure there is more than one set at home for when there is need of sound for several people at the same time.
  • Inform yourself as to how to use headphones, to avoid hearing damage.

Electronics container

Make it easier to throw away your (unused/broken/out-dated) electronic equipment in an environmentally friendly way, close to your home/school/work.

Regulatory bodies

  • Make rules about having more electronics waste containers in schools, supermarkets and other public places or arrange this yourself.

Young people

  • Approach waste-companies/municipalities/other regulatory bodies to get more containers available. These containers could have e.g. different slots for different kinds of equipment and for equipment that is still functioning or that is really broken.
  • Convince schools and supermarkets to place special containers.
  • Start a campaign for example by social media and an educational program about the importance of recycling.
  • Check what happens with the income of the recycled material and/or refurbishing of devices. See if it can be used for a good environmental cause and advertise this for people recycling the material.
  • You could start a special working-group that is responsible for sorting electronic waste in for example cables, screens, batteries, phones, computers and tablets. Doing this helps to recycle valuable parts and prevents chemical and toxic substances to get mixed with ordinary trash and get into the environment.


  • Create awareness about the advantages of bringing IT trash to a special container.
  • Create awareness of effect of leaving devices unused at home (decrease of quality) and motivate people to take their unused/broken/out-dated devices to a special container.
  • Think of creative ways to instil awareness in people and promoting behaviour change by combining campaigns with elements such as competitions, or games.

Social media developers

  • Develop an app which helps to find electronics containers nearby.
  • Develop attractive ways in which knowledge and ideas about recycling can be found and shared.


Set up a system to arrange better recycling of electronic equipment.

This system combines governmental subsidising, regulations, increasing the price of new equipment, and people getting money when they hand in old/used IT equipment.

Regulatory bodies

  • Make financial arrangements to give people money for handing in used IT: e.g. by raising the prices of IT products and/or subsidizing.
  • Make a model for different fees for different types of equipment, including the devaluation of IT devices and the amount of valuable substances coming back.
  • Include in the model the older devices that the buyers didn’t pay a fee for (for example, too long ago, or second hand purchase).
  • Organize for example an ‘IT-lottery’: instead of getting money for old equipment, people get a lottery ticket instead of money. The worth depends on the current state of the equipment handed in: the higher the worth, the more tickets one gets. The prize money is set by the total amount of money that comes from the recycled material.
  • Arrange responsible recycling services, e.g. to finance good technological facilities to make the recycle process as responsible as possible, and to arrange in as much as possible the reuse/refurbishing of equipment.
  • Regulate and control recycling to developing countries (so that our environmental problems are not ‘dumped’ on people from other countries).


  • Make sure that all employers have all the important information about this system and about recycling processes, to inform and reply to questions of customers.
  • Take responsibility for proper recycling of equipment.


  • Start an awareness campaign about recycling, including raising awareness about the consequences of ‘wrong’ ways of recycling.
  • Create awareness of effect of leaving devices unused at home (decrease of quality).
  • Develop online information (app?) with which it is easy to find the nearest store to hand in your IT device, and to calculate how much money you will get for it.


Stimulate the repair and reparability of IT equipment instead of throwing away stuff and buying new products.

Hardware developers/producers; software developers

  • Build IT devices that can easily be opened and repaired (not just by specialists).
  • IT devices must be built with easily separable parts, so they can be replaced when necessary without damaging the device and/or that when parts of device are broken, other parts can still be used.
  • Build and market separate parts of IT devices so they are available for repairs.
  • Each part of IT devices must be made robust so they are easy to replace and don’t get broken easily in the first place. Special attention is needed for screens and practical protective covers.
  • Make sure that new hardware and software is still compatible with older hardware.
  • Use open source knowledge, share knowledge about working of IT devices, so that they can be repaired and updated (and not just by specialists).
  • Offer cheap and fast repair services (not immediately replace!), offer long-term contract for repair/updating with new equipment.

Campaigners (consumer/environmental organization)

  • Stimulate technology producers and regulators to emphasize durability and quality rather than innovativeness of IT equipment.
  • Test IT equipment and rank it for its durability and its easiness to repair.
  • Ask regulators to set minimum norms for durability.
  • Test repair companies.
  • Make people aware of where they can go for repairs.

New (refurbishing) companies

  • Offer fast/good repair and updating services.

IT consumers

  • Choose robust, high quality, durable IT equipment.
  • Repair rather than buy new equipment.

Reuse and be cool

Stimulate the reuse of (parts of) IT equipment among younger people.

Technology producers

  • Phone covers should be replaced easily, so people can personalise their 2nd hand phone and get a feel of a ‘new’ and ‘personal’ phone.
  • Have artists design replaceable, attractive covers to present old equipment in a fashionable new way.
  • Build IT devices that can easily be opened, repaired and sold separately.
  • Make sure that new hardware and software is still compatible with older hardware.


  • Consumers need to be made aware of advantages of 2nd hand use and updating their equipment instead of buying new devices, in terms of environmental gain and personal, financial gain.
  • Campaign could be started to present using second hand equipment as ‘cool’ (and good for the environment).
  • Campaigns should be organized around young people’s communities to create momentum in the change of (consumer) behaviour and to develop a shared sense of ‘coolness’.
  • People need to know where to go for reparations, updates and swapping.

Retailer/new (refurbishing) companies

  • The corporate image needs to be modern and hip, not dusty and ‘smelly’.
  • People in 2nd hand shops need to have knowledge of IT equipment, to be able to:
    • Repair, update/refurbish IT devices.
    • Be a broker for consumers that need information about which kind of product fits their needs best.
    • Spread news about their abilities in repairing and updating.
    • Organize 'swapping events' (like for clothing) where people can swap parts or complete devices, or do this by social media/online.

Education at schools

Schools should be involved in environmental education and IT in an interactive, interesting way.


  • Pay attention to the theme at school:
    • Make ‘sustainability’ or ‘green use of IT’ a major theme for a certain time of the school year.
    • Make sure teachers have good teaching material, also when IT is not the theme of the actual class, so can return to the theme regularly (also when it is not the theme.
    • Get all the important information about energy use in production, use and trashing of IT available to all teachers and students. Make it easily accessible, also through IT.
    • The school and teachers give good examples and are role models themselves.
    • Educate parents: give them the right information, offering alternatives for problematic practices and habits.
  • Use engaging, alternative methods of teaching, as this is a theme that should work through all areas of life, e.g.:
    • Organize a school debate on how to use IT smartly, have a nice ‘green prize’ available for the winner(s).
    • Organize ‘mobile-free days’ at school to get awareness of routines and effects of mobile use.
    • Get exciting lectures, e.g. interactive or by inviting inspiring speakers – for example use young people who can be an ambassador, use a peer-to-peer approach.
    • Organize field visits, preferably to other countries so students can see the effects of environmental pollution on people’s lives, or organize chat sessions with the young people elsewhere who are working in the production/recycling industry about their life and work and other issues that are interesting for young people to share.
    • Make sure they can talk to students in small groups so there’s a lot of room for interaction.
    • Share content of teaching on social media.
    • ‘Upgrade’ teachers who (due to generation gap) are not familiar (enough) with this issue, are insecure about their teaching about it.
  • Use interesting content
    • Link the education (e.g. about the production process of IT, or consumer behaviour in general) to personal behaviour and own behaviour and experiences of students, make sure it connects to actual situations students experience in school.
    • Share and exchange views on the environment and how to improve, create a positive atmosphere around ‘sustainability’.


  • (Help) develop engaging teaching methods and material (content), containing e.g. attractive visuals with tips about changing that can be shared by social media or that make environmental issues tangible, e.g. by showing how much energy saving leads to what effect in concrete terms, like carbon footprint, temperature risings and melting of polar caps, etc.

Regulatory bodies

  • Make teaching about the environment a mandatory part of the program.
  • Create legislation to have ‘healthy use of IT’ obligatory part of school curriculum, also in the education for teachers.
  • Work together with researchers (developmental/educational scientists) to investigate what possibly negative and positive consequences (e.g. obesity, sleep deprivation, brain development, social development, learning effects of multi-tasking) there are of different kinds of IT use.

Website server eco-label

Websites need to be transparent about their energy consumption: consumers can use this information as criteria for using the service.

Think of energy consuming data centres that are used by search engines and content sharing websites.

App developer

  • Develop a symbol or meter (plugin or widget?) on webpages that shows the user how much energy is spent in the data centres during the use of the internet service.
  • Be transparent about where their servers/data centres are located, what kind of energy is used there and how much energy is used during each search by internet users.
  • Visualise the energy costs of Internet ‘traffic’ hopefully leading to knowledge change of consumers: knowing how much energy is spent by using internet services in the hope that this will change consumer behaviour (use less and different services).

New companies; hardware developers; software developers

  • Develop a visualisation of ‘net-miles’ tool, which monitors and informs the user about which internet actions take how much energy in data centres. This tool can also provide alternative suggestions (e.g. suggest companies that use less or cleaner energy; switch off the ‘search while you type’ function, use a company with an eco-label rather than the one selected).
  • The user’s efficiency in searching the web can be measured and presented e.g. as a learning curve of user: how much less or cleaner energy is used this week then last week, how many ‘net miles’ less have been made this week.


  • Develop standards by which firms can be given an ‘eco-label’ for very good energy efficiency and/or use of alternative (clean) energy sources: increased transparency may lead service providers to change their behaviour and make their services more energy efficient and make less use of polluting energy sources.
  • Monitor the internet service providers, issue the ‘eco-label’/certificate as incentive to deserving companies.
  • Develop a campaign for customers for choosing companies with an eco-label.


  • Official approval of the certificate gives weight to eco-label/certificate.

(Young) people

  • Install the visualisation tool.
  • Monitor energy consumption of using internet services and change behaviour.

Smart appliances: chargers, printers & routers

Electronic devices and their chargers should have an integrated switch that automatically switches them off.

The plugged device sends a signal when it is fully charged and the charger disconnects from the power supply. Similarly, printers should automatically switch off when the computer is switched off and routers should automatically switch off at pre-programmed times (for instance during the night).

Hardware developers

  • Need to develop affordable smart electronic equipment and their chargers that automatically switch off when not in need.
  • Look at examples of projects from companies that build smart meter apps to give insight in usage on appliance level, like

Energy consumers

  • Need to get smart chargers for all devices and other ‘smart’ equipment.

Green IT ambassadors

Help youth and famous people amongst youth to become ‘green IT ambassadors’: showing good practices and the consequences of bad IT behaviour.


  • Find youth and/or famous people willing to invest in becoming ‘green ambassador’. Important is to know the motivation of the ambassador (learning/doing good/fun/etc) in combination with the motivation of the targeted people.
  • Find a hip, cool brand that is willing to sponsor this project, to make it more attractive for youth to participate.
  • Develop a concept of what a green IT ambassador is, e.g.:
    • Willing to give good example in own life of how to take care of the environment in IT use.
    • Willing to inform others about saving environment in IT use, e.g. via social media, at schools or on other platforms.
    • Receives training and afterwards regular updated information on how to use IT smartly and on how to converse this message.
  • Organize and facilitate an ambassador training program, containing e.g.:
    • Motivated youth get to go to another country where IT is developed/produced/recycled and are connected to young people who work in this process. In this way, they can get to know their way of living, become friends, and become motivated to improve their lives by improving the production cycle and change their IT behaviour. Assure a balance between ‘serious’ and ‘fun’.
    • Back home, these ambassadors become part of the information and education source of their school and/or community: they’ll get a peer–training and invite friends to become friends with the young people they met as well. Not only top-down information and parties but also bottom-up by facilitating building friendship between youth of different places of the world to make climate change, recycling, production processes, etc., more tangible. Through this young people become more motivated/involved to change their behaviour to help their friends and the earth.
    • Training also contains information on how to use IT smartly and on how to be an ambassador and work towards change, e.g. how to talk to (small) groups of young people and inform and motivate them to make a change. Have the right information and a positive attitude where people come to trust in their impact when they work together.
  • Develop training material, which e.g.:
    • Shows how small efforts and changes in IT use lead to big changes when done together by positive young people.
    • Shows how increased efficiency contributes to environmental issues: show how much energy saving leads to what effect in concrete terms, like carbon footprint, temperature risings and melting of polar caps, etc.
    • Attractive visuals are developed with tips about changing that can be shared by social media or in other interactive settings.

Green ambassadors: ‘Famous people’ and/or youths willing to become ‘peer educator’

  • Take a look at own IT behaviour, become aware of effects, and change where possible.
  • Get involved in how (other) young people perceive their future in terms of ecology and their possibilities to influence it.
  • Get educated/trained.
  • Visit schools and (e.g. musical) events and contact young people: be a role model, inspire and educate young people, create a movement together.
  • Create information and inspiration on social media, where young people can join and share experiences. Be positive about possibilities, not too much emphasis on impossibilities and fear.

Remote control of power sockets

Energy consumers can remotely switch off their power sockets or program them to switch off after/at a certain time or in case of specific kinds of energy usage (such as stand by consumption).

Hardware developers and software developers

  • Need to develop affordable smart sockets that can be remotely switched off or that can be programmed to switch off at certain times/in case of specific kinds of use.
  • Need to develop an app with which these sockets can be programmed and switched off.

Installation companies

  • Need to install smart sockets.

Energy consumers such as school boards, managers of offices and private consumers

  • Need to get smart sockets and the app.
  • Need to dedicate sockets to specific devices in the app to know which can be switched off and which should be left on always (e.g. alarm system of school, fridge at home).
  • Need to program the sockets to switch off, e.g.
    • After a certain time (e.g. at night when office is closed) or on specific dates (weekend, holiday).
    • When devices they don’t want to be in standby are in standby.
    • After a specific time (e.g. socket used for charging automatically switches off after hour; coffee machine only heats water around coffee time; game boy socket switches off after an hours’ use).


  • Raise awareness through for example a fun clip that can be shared on social media about what is being remote controlled, how, and why.

Greening events

Use and show green IT during events aimed at youth, and organize attention for these green IT practices during these events.


  • Organize events or contact event organizers to make room for an awareness/friendship project where visitors and famous people can have a thematic ‘meet & greet’ about energy use and IT. This can also be done online during the festival through social media.
  • Think of:
    • General events (like concerts, Lowlands in the Netherlands and Roskilde in Denmark).
    • Events that aim at already interested audience (e.g. gathering of green political party, festival to raise money for improving society).
  • Seek cooperation with organizations that are already present at the event/festival: find common ground for ‘greening’ theme.
  • Approach national and international ‘famous people’ (e.g. who will perform at the festival and/or who are famous amongst youth at the festival from e.g. sports, music, TV, bloggers, politics), not necessarily with a lot of knowledge of IT or connection with environment.
  • Prefer young people who can serve as a role model; someone youth can relate to.
  • Train these famous people and organize a meet & greet at the festival with e.g. content like:
    • Famous role models share their views on saving environment with IT, create a positive atmosphere around ‘sustainability’. Tell young people why a more sustainable way of living is important to them. Be positive about possibilities, not too much emphasis on impossibilities and fear.
    • Share information about what needs to be/can be changed by young people themselves.
    • Make sure there are small groups with room for lots of interaction and connection between participants.
    • Label them as a ‘think tank’ or something constructive, so participants have a sense of meaningfulness and can also contribute their own ideas/measures.
    • Have participants sign an ‘agreement’ about future IT behaviour.
    • Pictures, ideas and intentions of this event can be shared via social media, people who weren’t there can also participate in behavioural changes that these groups thought of/intend to do.
    • Gather their e-mail addresses, invite them to become a green IT ambassador after the event and get a peer training.
  • During the event: instead of generators, use solar or thermal energy to provide your event of energy, install energy generating dance floor or bikes so that festival participants can generate electricity for the festival.
  • Install temporary Wi-Fi equipment with low energy expenditure for network during festival.
  • Also for people to recharge their mobile phones: provide creative ways of recharging that make people aware of the amount of energy their device uses. Be ‘green’ in more than one way: also in use of material to decorate, food and drinks, lighting and sound, etc.
  • Make sure festival participants know about environment saving measures of the festival.

Sticky reminders

Develop and disseminate stickers with reminders to switch off equipment (like TVs, monitors, laptops) and programs when not in use.

These stickers should be spread around and stuck to places where users think they will be most effective in reminding them and others.


  • Have a competition for designing the coolest sticker, for example in art class: the ten most attractive will be produced and the school will be equipped with them.
  • Educate young people about energy use of stand-by consumption and of background program, linking it to consumer behaviour in general and their own behaviour in school and at home.


  • Create a buzz about designing your own reminder in a creative way.
  • Show how small efforts and changes in IT use lead to big changes when done by positive young people, together.
  • Link increased efficiency to environmental issues: show how much energy saving leads to what effect in concrete terms, like carbon footprint, temperature risings and melting of polar caps, etc.
  • Design an attractive sticker or template that young people can complete themselves, aiming at reminding people to shut down their device, or end programs and apps that are not in use. The basis of the sticker should be a hip and recognizable logo. Make sure there is room in the sticker for people’s own ideas to add in it, to personalize it.

Young people

  • Design your own sticker and put it up.
  • Take a look at own IT behaviour, become aware of effects, and change where possible.
  • Do it together.

Visualization of energy usage in buildings

There should be an app that visualizes all energy usage in a house or building and gives tips on using less energy.

The app advises you about what to switch off, what to lower, what to improve, and so on.

Companies/hardware developers/software developers

  • Install smart energy sockets: these sockets need to measure energy consumption, transmit these data and possibly allow socket to be switched off by remote control.
  • Create a device that visualizes in a simple way, how much energy is used and what the consequences are. For example: how many trees does this cost.
  • Installation companies need to install these smart energy sockets.
  • App needs to be developed that receives data by smart energy sockets and presents it in for energy consumers conceivable way. In this app, smart (based on input in app) tips for users to reduce energy usage need to be incorporated. Also, the app can send messages in case of (predefined) unwanted electricity consumption (e.g. energy peaks, standby consumption).
  • Privacy issues and data security need to be investigated and addressed.


  • Demand for smart sockets needs to be created.
  • Consumers need to be made aware of the app.
  • Consumers need to be made aware of the advantages of switching off like environmental advantages, prolonged life of devices and their batteries before you need to recharge.

Energy consumers

  • Consumers need to inform the app as to which devices are connected to which sockets.
  • Consumers need to use the app regularly.
  • In case a building has ‘old fashioned’ energy sockets
    • Consumers need to arrange replacement of energy sockets, OR
    • Companies need to develop alternative app in which user can fill out which devices they use. The app then calculates the energy consumption of individual appliances (e.g. with the iGo Vampire power calculator).


Use young creativity

Challenge young people to think of new technical and societal solutions for a greener use of IT.

In a ‘creativity workshop’ they can work out how they themselves and the people around them can integrate these ideas in their lives.

Schools (preparation)

  • Do research on recent information about:
    • Environmental impact of IT use
    • Young people’s unsustainable IT practices
    • Interesting ways for transferring this information – for example short clips, nice graphics, pictures. Make sure to not frighten participants with doom scenarios as this will lead to opposite behaviour.
  • Choose a date, make sure to have at least 2,5 hours for the workshop.
  • Make sure there are enough teachers/supervisors, that:
    • Know the goal of the workshop.
    • Have an open mind for all possible ideas that come up.
    • Encourage and challenge the students to think wild.
    • Ask probing questions to get all the needed information.
  • Make sure in your program there is room for people who like to think individually, think by talking about ideas with other people, think by drawing and/or writing.

School (execution)

  • Make sure your program contains the following:
    • General introduction with information, presented in an interesting way, make clear that the participants are the experts.
    • Warm-up, for example the ‘Hot Chair Game’.
    • Introduction of (a few) unsustainable practices you want participants to think about and find solutions for.
    • Let participants choose a practice they find interesting and can relate to.
    • Split into smaller groups; introduce the practice further; hand out pictures that are connected with the practice; let participants talk about them (what do they know about it, think about it, how does it play a role in their own life).
    • Have a brainstorm of ideas, solutions, to change/improve the concerning practice: ‘diverge’. Let them write down or draw their ideas individually. Pass the ideas around, have participants comment/improve other ideas – in a positive way, not criticizing; have participants summarize original ideas plus improvements.
    • Select the best ideas that came up in the brainstorm: ‘converge’. Participants discuss about and must include stakeholders, target people of solution, steps to be taken to get the idea operative.
    • Every group presents their best idea(s) to the rest of the participants, be open for further enhancements coming from other people.
    • Evaluation: include participants’ personal insight and plans about changes in their own practices concerning IT-use.
  • Make sure that teachers/supervisors are very serious about ideas, comments, anything participants come up with, are stimulating to think as far as possible. Create a positive atmosphere where participants feel valued and taken seriously.
  • Teachers must take notes and write down all ideas plus remarks participant make about them.
  • Teachers must interrogate participants to help them to come from an idea to a plan that is as realistic as possible.
  • In the end choose an idea to execute together, make a plan and divide tasks. Make an appointment when it is evaluated. Make sure everyone is involved as this is a good way to prevent people from feeling all they can do is a ‘drop in the ocean’. Make sure main tasks are done by young people, as this works empowering for them.

Incorporate environment in design

A good design of devices and services takes into account, and is transparent about environment, functionality, and economy.

Most consumers and producers focus too much on economy and functionality, and do not pay attention to the environment.

Regulatory organizations

  • Make obligatory or encourage that products and marketing pay an equal amount of attention to each of the three elements.
  • Make obligatory that producers are transparent about the ‘energy consequences’ of using the concerning device: comparable to information on food about the ingredients/nutritional value/amount of calories à the consumers decide whether they want to buy it based on extensive information/‘risk’ calculation.

Technology and Software Developers

  • In the development of a new device it has to become clear which aspects play a role in terms of environment, economy and functionality.
  • These three aspects should be in balance. In the design of the product and of the marketing of the product, attention should be given to each of these aspects
  • Make sure that ‘energy consequences’ are visible in a comprehendible way for a large audience.

Young people

  • Become aware of the three aspects of every device: make choices for or against them based on how well there are balanced.


  • Design a campaign in which the importance of paying equal attention to each element is signified.

Making information available

To be able to ‘use IT smartly’, consumers, schools and organizations need to have information available to make environmentally smart choices.

Regulatory bodies

  • Regulate that technology producers give full transparency regarding environmental consequences of production, use and trashing of their technologies.
  • Make obligatory that producers are transparent about the ‘energy consequences’ of using the concerning device: comparable to information on food about the ingredients/nutritional value/amount of calories à the consumers decide whether they want to buy it based on extensive information/‘risk’ calculation.
  • Finance gathering of information and support independent research to check available information and do research on missing information.

Campaigners (Consumer/Environmental organizations)

  • Gather available information on environmental costs of production, use and trashing of IT.
  • Do independent research (or have it done for you) to check trustworthiness of this information and to flag which information is missing.
  • Develop attractive ways to make this information easily accessible by energy consumers, e.g. inform the public about differences in energy usage and environmental costs of different types of IT.
  • Use this information in promotional campaigns.

Hardware developers

  • Give transparency about their production process and energy and other environmental costs of production and use of IT.

Social media content developers

  • Develop tools which make the information easily accessible and attractive for consumers (cf. the ‘Smergy’ project), e.g.
    • Make sure that specific information about how much energy is used through which IT practices is easy to find and easy to calculate by young people.
    • Develop attractive ways in which ideas and tips to save energy are presented and can be shared through social media.
    • Develop an app in which it is easy for (young) people to calculate the amount energy different options cost, for example streaming movies on different kinds of devices (phone versus pc). In this app energy use – and differences over different devices and practices – should become visible.
    • Make sure this app has the latest information and keeps up with new developments.

Energy consumers (including organizations)

  • Gather information: inform themselves about consequences of use of specific device, and behave consequently.
  • Share it in their (social media) networks.

Save energy for a party

Cooperate with your friends (of age) to save energy and have a party afterwards with the money you have saved.

Young people

  • Find friends, and friends of friends, who will participate in an action to save energy and have a party. If an app is developed to support this activity, the following steps can be done through that app:
    • Find out the energy usage of your own and your friends’ mobile phones, laptops, televisions and other IT equipment.
    • Find and share ideas on how to use less energy.
    • Implement energy saving ideas.
    • Calculate how much energy you and your friends have saved over a period of time.
    • Organize a party with this money afterwards.
    • Spread this idea through your social networks.

Social media developers

  • Make sure that information about how much energy is used through which IT practices is easy to find and easy to calculate by young people – emphasize how working together can make a difference.
  • Develop attractive ways in which ideas and tips to save energy are presented and can be shared through social media.
  • Initiate a campaign on social media on how to save energy with IT.
  • Emphasize possibilities that lead to sustainable change of behaviour.
  • Develop an app in which energy gains by all participating friends are added together, recalculated in money and in number of drinks earned. (This app can also include the previous two points).

Reduce data traffic

Data should be sent more efficiently over the Internet and networks, for instance by using better compression techniques.

Hardware developers (programmers)

  • Create ways to compress data more than is possible today and find ways to increase the speed of internet/more bandwidth.
  • Find out if when more bandwidth leads to increased consumption and higher frequency leads to shorter time to download, does it require more energy?


  • Install more efficient hardware to transmit data that fiber-optic communication, such as fiberglass or plastic optical fiber (POF) (or polymer optical fibre) which is an optical fiber made out of plastic. Fiber-optic communication transmits information by sending pulses of light through an optical fiber. The advantage of fiberglass or pof cables is that they have lower attenuation and interference in long-distance and high-demand applications compared to copper wires. Therefore optical communication can transmit more data in an energy efficient way.

Increase Wi-Fi use

Increase the availability of free and secure Wi-Fi networks in order to decrease the use of the more energy consuming 3G and 4G networks.

Hardware developers

  • Calculate in which cases the use of 3G/4G or of Wi-Fi is more energy efficient: one 3G/4G antenna can serve more devices than one Wi-Fi router.
  • Develop prompts to instruct users about which is the best to use.
  • Better still: build into the devices that it automatically selects the most energy efficient (in total, not for the individual user) solution.


  • Think of strong positive incentives for people to switch to the modus that is most sustainable.
  • Create awareness about differences in energy usage between different ways of using the internet.
  • Create awareness of the risks of using Wi-Fi and decrease the risk of getting hacked, and educate on how to avoid this.

Schools and public places

  • Make Wi-Fi more accessible and user-friendly. So no ‘guest-logins’ at universities but free accessibility.
  • Make sure Wi-Fi is secure.

Local stream

Streamed data stay available for others on the network for certain time.

As a solution for the high energy-costs of streaming: as soon as for instance audio or video is streamed to a person, people on the local network and in the neighbourhood around them can use it for a certain period of time, because the data are stored temporarily in the local network.

IT professionals together with provider

  • Create servers in the network where people’s streams are stored for a certain amount of time/until the space is all used up.
  • People/members can browse through these stored files and watch or listen to them against a low price. Bringing in something new will cost more, but is not insurmountable.

Campaigners/social media developers

  • Share knowledge about advantages of sharing instead of using solo, in terms of sustainability/energy use and financial and social.
  • Inform and educate people about energy usage and help change our ‘economy of having/possessing’ to an ‘economy of sharing’.

Schools and public places

  •  Use a certain amount of space for ‘specialized’ material, which fits the purpose of the institution. For bigger organizations this is already the case for work or educational material, this could be increased with an entertainment section.

Video project

Create a video about IT & the environment, smart use of IT, or another related subject, creating awareness about the topic.

The end product invites the audience to practice alternative behaviour.

Young people – for example in school

  • Think about what the message of your video should be? How do you yourself incorporate this in your life?
  • Decide whether you want to produce the video alone, with someone, or with a group. Think about technical skills to record visuals and sound, editing the material after the actual filming, who is going to be visible in your video and whether you have all of this available
  • Find interesting information about the IT and the environment that you want to show, e.g. behaviour you want the audience to change.
  • Think of how to show it in an attractive way in your video.
  • Write a script; avoid too gloomy visuals or blaming people for ‘wrong’ behaviour, keep it positive.
  • Plan a date when it all comes together.
  • Keep the end result short, think of your own span of interest when watching a video.
  • Plan a ‘première’ and invite your friends/family to come and watch the end result.
  • Share it in social media, and e-mail it to useITsmartly project – if possible, we will put it on the website.


  • Make information on IT and the environment easily available.
  • Offer guidelines/help with how to make a good video.
  • Organize a competition or challenge amongst youth for making a video.

Upgrade locally

Facilitate the updating or repairing of IT devices by consumers themselves or by local service points to prevent unnecessary production, transportation and trashing.


  • IT devices must be built with easily separable parts, so they can be replaced.
  • Knowledge about the working of IT devices must be shared so it becomes easier to repair a device when it is broken or out-dated.
  • Reparations must be facilitated locally rather than centralized.


  • Consumers need to be made aware of advantages of keeping their equipment as long as possible instead of buying new as soon as there is something not working/fast enough anymore, in terms of environmental gain and personal, financial gain.
  • People need to know where to go for reparations, and for information about how to do it yourself.
  • ‘Smart kids’ must be encouraged to offer their skills to repair people’s devices: earn some money; help out other people with their knowledge and skills.
  • There must be workshops where people learn the basics of IT refurbishing so they know where to go with occurring problems and be able to fix minor problems themselves.
  • Create awareness about the large amount of information on the internet about how to open up/replace/repair your device.


  • Facilitate local ‘workshops’ with space and marketing so more local expertise and local companies can be encouraged.

Restrict amount of available energy

Every household should get a limited amount of (green) energy for their household every month. If they use more than the fixed amount, they will have to pay a much higher price.

Every household member will get a message when they almost run out of energy so they can make precautions.


  • Need to develop a system in which what a ‘fair’ share of energy is calculated. For example: families with children have different needs than singles with full-time jobs.
  • Look at examples (like Ireland where flex-energy is wide-spread), inclining block-rates: once you have used up the basic amount of (cheap) energy, the next amount/blocks get increasingly more expensive.
  • Regulate the energy market to fit with these progressively higher prices: scaling up energy prices to more expensive levels when more energy is consumed than a ‘fair’ share. Make sure the financial incentive is interesting enough so most people will comply to use less energy.
  • Start information campaign about changing energy market and need for changing behaviour.
  • Provide information/education in how to reduce energy use for families, so that they won’t exceed their assigned amount of energy.
  • Make sure no one is cut off energy totally at once: use the cut off as a learning mechanism so restrict the amount of time one is cut off.

Energy consumers

  • Become more aware of how much energy everything costs. People that are not very interested in environmental issues will also change because it will cost them money.


  • Make knowledge on how to save energy easily available for consumers.

Slow IT

Make sure that there is a 'mainstream production' that keeps older hardware and software support available; facilitate people that want to use their devices as long as possible, and so reduce the renewal rate.

IT producers

  • Guarantee that older hardware/software facilitates the same (though possibly slower) functionality: Creating support models for hardware and software.
  • Guarantee compatibility between various versions of hard/software.
  • Guarantee same support and safety of systems (for example for online banking) for older and newer hard/software.
  • Develop a department that works on refurbished/older hard/software support.
  • Find a solution for refurbishment for private people; make it financially attractive like it is for companies.


  • Create awareness about the advantages of not buying new hard/software too often.

Universal chargers & remotes

Universal chargers and universal remote controls make it unnecessary to get new ones with each new device you buy, saving devices and batteries.


  • Make some general rules/directives for the producers on producing one standard version.

IT Producers

  • IT chargers and remote controls must work on all devices, independent of the producer (with possibly only the plug as the varying exception).
  • Remote controls should only work on rechargeable batteries.
  • IT products are to be sold without chargers and remote controls; these can only be bought separately.
  • Synchronize your production.

Change subscription market for mobile phones

Providers of mobile phones and their subscriptions remain responsible for the phones and for prolonged usage of these devices.

Retailers: Providers of subscriptions

  • Separate the subscription market from the phone market.
  • Rather than offering the newest model phone with a new subscription, offer new/prolonged subscriptions with existing phone of consumer.
  • Check, repair and upgrade the phones so consumers and/or subscribers can use them again.
  • For consumers that really need a (new) phone, offer used phones with new subscriptions for lower prices.
  • Offer discounts on new subscriptions when a customer hands in an old phone – the better shape it is in, the more discount the customer gets.
  • Shift from buying and owning a phone, to using ‘phone time’, like leasing cars where the company stays the owner of the mobile phone.
  • Use marketing tools to make known that ‘old’ phones are as good as new ones, when they are checked, repaired and updated.
  • Develop covers and other gadgets to mobiles to facilitate the ‘personalisation’ of mobiles by consumers (especially for used phones).

Retailers: Providers of mobile phone software; hardware developers; software developers

  • Develop software that is open source and compatible with various types of phones.
  • Make sure that new software is still compatible with older models.


  • Adjust legislation to exert pressure to providers market to make this change happen, e.g. European legislation and funding to help providers of subscriptions to change to reduce the amount of ‘outdated’ mobile phones, and so reduce the amount of new phones to be produced.
  • Legislation should aim at splitting equipment from services: consumers should only buy services (compared to electricity), where the provider remains responsible for the equipment that is used. Part of this is a repair service. This way equipment is a means instead of a goal. This’ll be the incentive for organizations to make sure equipment is sustainable, robust and sturdy. Non-IT example: an architect that buys Lumen lights from Philips instead of regular lighting. Philips is responsible for ‘clean use’ and thus provides lighting that is economical with energy use.
  • Unsustainable products must become more expensive and thus less attractive to buy.

Young people

  • Become aware of (environmental and personal financial) costs of completely new phones; be content with older, used & upgraded models.
  • Hand in old phones so that they can be re-used.

Facilitate green companies

Young people that want to start their own company in using IT smartly should be supported at or through their schools.

Regulators (and possibly schools)

  • Motivate and facilitate students who have an idea to become their own entrepreneur with information, use of space/IT technology, marketing.
  • Offer a (cheap) loan to start a company (loans work better for commitment than funding).


  • Gather ideas for new companies on useITsmartly (e.g. this toolbox, or 3D-printing which further changes/undermines the position of producers and enables end-users).

Hardware developer; app developer; retailer; installation company

  • Offer internships, or ‘meet & greet’ moments where there’s an exchange of young people with their ideas and where they can learn from your experience.

Green competition

Organize and participate in competitions between schools and/or classes to be as green as possible in IT usage both at school and at home.

Regulators; campaigner (consumer/environmental organization); social media developers; IT producers

  • Organise a competition for schools, or classes of schools, to use as little energy as possible during a predefined period; start campaigns to inform and motivate schools to join.
  • Organize nice prizes for the winning school/class. The prize a school can win can e.g. be an investment in economic computers at school, solar panels on the school’s rooftop or transforming the cafeteria into selling healthy and locally produced food.
  • Develop a measurement tool with which can be measured how much energy is saved/in how far the school has caused improvement in the environment; make it comparable on social media.
  • Gather a list of companies, organisations, websites, etc. that can help young people in behaving ‘green’, where students can go for help/support and information. Lobby so these companies, organisations, websites, etc. are willing to offer their support, give them publicity for participating. Ideas for saving energy can e.g. be to go on a ‘media diet’ for a day or week with all pupils of the school, to install ‘eco software’ on all computers in school, or to not sell meat in the school canteen during the competition.
  • Competitions can also be organized that appeal to other goals people find important besides sustainability, such as comfort, convenience or health.


  • Join the competition.
  • Motivate students/classes in participating, maybe adding to the prize if they win.
  • Improve awareness about the difference between ‘old behaviour’ and the ‘competition behaviour’, so there will be a maximum sustainable change of behaviour.
  • Facilitate and educate students about sustainable living; think about a Green Office, a central ‘sustainability centre’. A Green Office facilitates and unites students and teachers in activities that enhance sustainability in school. Here the content for education can be found, but students can also do ‘green’ projects – for fun, or for study credits.

Campaigner (consumer/environmental organization)s

  • Develop attractive campaigning tools to encourage young people to participate.
  • Develop tools that facilitate within-school cooperation between pupils.

Young People

  • Get your school to participate (or to start a competition between classes).
  • Share knowledge about concrete energy saving possibilities with peers.
  • Participate and motivate peers to participate as well.

Visualization of energy usage in buildings: appliances and rooms

An app visualizes the energy consumption of all appliances in a house or building at room level, and, based on machine-learning paradigms, provides tips to save energy or use appliances at different moments in time when (more) renewable energy is available.

Technology and Software Developers

  • Need to develop for all electronic devices a feature that shows the consumer its efficiency and energy use. It must be visible at all times and easily comprehendible, compared to a ‘battery status’.
  • Integrate in the app real-time feedback, reminders and smart (based on input in app) tips on how to use their device in a more efficient way – getting the same information/speed/comfortable way of living.
  • The app can also send messages in case of (predefined) unwanted electricity consumption (e.g. energy peaks, standby consumption).
  • Privacy issues need to be investigated and addressed.
  • Add flexibility of profiles so that people can adjust the app to their preferences, for instance one option should be that people decide when the washing machine has finished its program within a certain time slot. People will differ, some people find a timeslot of ten hours appropriate, some only have a three-hour window. Within this timeslot the system decides when it is the best moment to use renewable energy.

Campaigner (consumer/environmental organization)

  • Demand for efficiency app needs to be created.
  • Consumers need to be made aware of the app and of the functionality of the energy performance feature.
  • Link increased efficiency to environmental issues: show how much energy saving leads to what effect in concrete terms, like carbon footprint, temperature risings and melting of polar caps, etc.

Energy consumers

Consumers need to get the app and use it regularly; get insight in their personal energy use, compare it with before when they weren’t aware, and with friends to help each other in doing better.

Reduce energy consumption of individual buildings

Organizations such as schools or companies should take energy and environmental measures to make their buildings and organizations more energy efficient and sustainable.

Organizations/Companies: schools, office buildings, apartment complex letters, etc.

  • Introduce changes towards sustainability in organizations such as schools, for example:
    • Source out the server load (e.g. by cloud computing). Thereby power can be saved and the electric circuit can be completely shut down during the night.
    • Switch to digital ways of dealing with processes, for instance using digital exams. When doing so make sure individuals have/get enough digital skills for new equipment/ways of executing processes. When there’s still paper: make sure it is recycled paper.
    • Use less paper and more electronic documents.
    • Reuse the heat of the servers to warm the building, or in winter to defrost parking spaces or schoolyards (like roads in Iceland).
    • Get ‘remote control’ over the school IT-infrastructure shutting on/off when necessary and reaching more energy saving and efficiency (for example not have all PCs booting when they are already needed).
    • Include environmental costs (of buying, using and trashing) of IT in the tables for calculating when equipment should be replaced, e.g. replace old pc-screens by led-screens.
    • Make sure PCs/laptops can only run a limited number of programs at the same time: which will increase device lifetime and decrease energy consumption. Also introduce programs that shut down IT equipment that is not used for some time. Make sure students cannot switch off this eco function too easily.
    • Heating should be off at default. By letting people consciously switch on the heating they are made more aware of energy consumption, and you prevent heating a room when not in use.
    • Use daylight by designing buildings in a smart way, such that daylight is lead through the building by using mirrors and reaches rooms that do not have direct access to daylight.
  • Communicate to users about effects and reasons for these measurements.
  • Use students and employees as energy detectives for finding other/more options for saving the environment as school.

Healthy use of IT

Schools should (be forced to) educate young people and their parents and caretakers on how to use IT in a healthy and responsible way and set rules on what kind of use is allowed in school/during class.

Hardware developers

  • Work together with researchers (developmental/educational scientists) to investigate what possibly negative consequences (e.g. obesity, sleep deprivation, brain development, social development, learning effects of multi-tasking) there are of using (too much) IT.
  • Instruct schools about how much use of IT and ‘screens’ in general versus other ways of playing and learning constitute an optimal developmental climate for kids.


  • Educate teachers, caretakers and young people about healthy use of IT.
  • Synchronize with other educational institutes how much/in which ways IT is used, what is allowed in class (for example mobile phones of pupils), and how to educate young people about this.
  • Take responsibility to also educate parents:
    •  Maybe they use IT as an easy way to keep kids quiet: make them aware of effects and alternatives.
    • Maybe they do not know about the implications of intensive IT use: raise awareness and offer positive alternatives.
  • Give good example by setting clear rules and guidelines for use of IT in school (and for homework).
  • Healthy use of IT should be part of ‘every’ class, and part of ‘general development’ of students.
  • Place emphasis on positive side of alternatives, instead of ‘use less’: for example more physical exercise leads to better physical and mental health, also leads to lower costs of health care. Environment as sole ‘reason’ will not work because people do not feel committed (enough).

Regulatory body

  • Create legislation to have ‘healthy use of IT’ become an obligatory part of school curriculum, also in teacher education.

Real smart screens

To reduce energy consumption when watching television or gaming: screens can be replaced by individual headsets, that create virtual screens enabling that different people can watch television or play games in parallel.

Hardware developers

  • Mobile headsets need to be integrated with watching television or gaming. These devices need to be able to tune in on different channels individually by using one set-top box.
  • Set-top boxes need to be designed in such a way they can communicate with (multiple) mobile headsets when gaming or watching television.
  • Safety and privacy of data transmission needs to be secured.
  • Create one standard, to prevent problems comparable to different USB chargers.

Campaigner (consumer/environmental organization)

  • Demand for visual headsets when watching television or gaming needs to be created.
  • Consumers need to be made aware of the visual headsets.
  • Consumers need to be made aware of the advantages of using the visual headsets, like improved energy efficiency compared to using multiple television screens when different people want to watch television, and less resource consumption in production.

Replacing appliances for more energy efficient versions

All appliances in companies, households or schools will be replaced by more energy efficient versions.

Old parts consume a lot of electricity and newer devices are more energy efficient.

Campaigner (consumer/environmental organization)

  • Start a campaign to make people aware of the fact that keeping appliances too long, which is bad for the environment but also uneconomical because these appliances use much more energy than the latest A+ plus versions.
  • Generate a public discussion about replacing appliances for more energy efficient alternatives.

Hardware developers/companies

  • Make sure that new devices are even more efficient and environmental friendly.
  • Communicate with the public about the availability of more energy efficient appliances.
  • Develop a recycling program to stimulate people to buy more energy efficient appliances, supported by offering a discount when people swap an old appliance for a new one of the same brand.