In the futuristic, dystopian nightmare in which we find ourselves there are an average of 12 computers in every home, 12 homes in every computer and 13 in every baker’s dozen. Some days I just can’t be bothered doing proper research for these opening paragraphs. I’ve just got back from work, I’m tired and I want a bath and a damn good rogering but instead I’ve got to build context. Fine. Estimates suggest 264 million computers were shipped in 2007, with 1 billion in use around the world in 2008. There are lots. Bill Gates flogs them and he’s loaded. Man, I could be having a bath by now.
Computers are one of the greatest inventions we’ve stumbled upon thus far but we’re bringing our bad old habits to their brave new world: we buy them, we bin them, we buy new ones. We dig and drill things out of the ground, turn them into things that can’t be reused and when we’re done we dig a hole and hide them there. Even if you Butterfly your old pc over to a developing country your new one will be made of glass, metal and plastic and it would have taken an assload of carbon-heavy industry to put them together. Unless you go for a slightly potty, brilliant, panda-baiting alternative: a bamboo computer.
Your nearest search engine shows companies are now producing computers and peripherals using bamboo casing instead of plastic and metal. The stuff inside is mostly same old but you can buy a mouse, a keyboard, speakers, a monitor, a hard drive, a flash drive and a laptop housed in bamboo or wood. It’s incredible that something so technologically advanced and so dependent on man-made materials can green up a little, even if it’s only on the outside. Imagine our 1 billion computers made with clean, sustainable casings.
It’s brilliant. Brilliant and slightly silly. It’s like your mobile phone being made of coconuts and string. If you were making an anachronistic Tarzan movie you’d put one of these in his treehouse, along with a mulch-phaser that shoots woodlice. What’s next for us in this brave old-new world? It makes me excited for an eco-future that’ll look suspiciously like The Flintstones and have us abandoning electrical appliances and washing our dishes in a pelican’s open gob.