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Old 15th June 2013, 04:08 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Default Sustainability in Audio ...

Hi All,

I've been visiting these forums for quite some time now and have noticed how active and creative diy'ers here are. It's really inspiring

However, in searching around here, I have never seen anyone talk about the sustainability of audio. That is:

- is sustainability something that people here think about - and act to try to reduce in practice?
- what is the pollutive load of the audio industries - the various components used?
- are there some manufacturers who make a genuine effort to reduce their imprint on earth? And still make superb components/products? And if so, who are they?

To me sustainability matters, although I perceive it to not be that simple to make happen in the context of audio.

Might it also matter to others here at diyaudio?


Update on 13 August

To faciliate a somewhat focussed exchange here about sustainability in the audio industry I've drawn up a modified Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) chart that I suggest is used as a reference in relation to new posts in this thread (better suggestions are welcome).

Unfortunately I cannot attach the LCA chart to this post but it is attached to post #22. There's a link to this post here:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/loung...ml#post3594599

The idea is that e.g. when posting comments on a component, product or manufacturer's sustainability policies I suggest it is somehow related to the LCA chart's groupings.

In this way I reckon a more focussed exchange on this subject may be easier as well as a better overview of what a manufacturer actually does in terms of sustainability initiatives.


Greetings,

Jesper
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... Being mindful about sustainability also in my audio endeavors matters to me ... paying CO2 - and a quite fair pollution compensation helps create a good listening "energy" ...

Last edited by gentlevoice; 13th August 2013 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 15th June 2013, 05:59 PM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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The best way to aid sustainability is to use exclusively NOS components. They have already been made so the cost of manufacture has already been charged to the planet. The best thing to do with them now is use them; otherwise they simply represent waste.
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Old 15th June 2013, 07:19 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Hi DF96,

Thanks for replying ... & yes my impression also is that using NOS is a very usable entry into suitainability in audio. I also often reuse components from motherboards etc..

However, in many cases I find that it is not a practical solution as NOS components are not available, may not have usable specs anymore, or the like ... So I often find myself in need of new purchases. Something I reckon most people working in audio do as it's relatively rare to find NOS components in commercially available audio products.

Any ideas as what to do with new purchases?

Best regards,

Jesper
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... Being mindful about sustainability also in my audio endeavors matters to me ... paying CO2 - and a quite fair pollution compensation helps create a good listening "energy" ...
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Old 15th June 2013, 07:23 PM   #4
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Location: Arnhem Netherlands
I almost dare not to admit at these forum, but as an electronics guy I use scavenged components from old PCB's. Scavenged semiconductor and HV elco's from SMPS can be very usefull. As the technology advances more and more tot SMT I collect these components usefull for my audio and radio hobby before they will be nowhere to be found. Also tweeters from cabinets with torn woofer surrounds can be re used.
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Old 15th June 2013, 09:45 PM   #5
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlevoice View Post
Hi All,

I've been visiting these forums for quite some time now and have noticed how active and creative diy'ers here are. It's really inspiring

However, in searching around here, I have never seen anyone talk about the sustainability of audio. That is:

- is sustainability something that people here think about - and act to try to reduce in practice?
- what is the pollutive load of the audio industries - the various components used?
- are there some manufacturers who make a genuine effort to reduce their imprint on earth? And still make superb components/products? And if so, who are they?

To me sustainability matters, although I perceive it to not be that simple to make happen in the context of audio. Might it also matter to others here at diyaudio?

Greetings,

Jesper
you will see quite a bit recently from me on this subject in the blowtorch thread, enough that it generated a poll in a separate thread. my musings werent very popular ...
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Old 16th June 2013, 01:43 PM   #6
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Join Date: May 2007
For true sustainability in audio you need to avoid electronics, because of both mineral and energy consumption. Just use handmade acoustic instruments.

On the other hand, provided you are not into using massive SET amplifiers as room heaters, it is likely that audio is only a very tiny part of the resources you consume just by staying alive and moving around. It is simply not possible for most of us to become cave-dwelling subsistence farmers again.
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Old 16th June 2013, 02:33 PM   #7
cannext is offline cannext  Netherlands
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: the south
Just some small remarks ,
imo diy stuff is built by enthusiasts to serve their need and will mostly contain better parts than commercially available sollutions for the same problem .
It is therefore likely that it will have a longer servicelife .

Diy stuff does not have a build in redundancy, is less likely to fail just days after the warrenty has expired.
Most modern consumerelectronics are not repaired but become garbage when this happens.

I recycle reuse parts from older projects and dead /trown away/dumped electronics .

Diy'rs can and will repair things when/if it suits them.

This means less E-waste over the same timeperiod.

I would like mainstream companies to build stuff that lasts , I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

Regards F.
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Old 16th June 2013, 04:50 PM   #8
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cannext
I recycle reuse parts from older projects and dead /trown away/dumped electronics .

Diy'rs can and will repair things when/if it suits them.

This means less E-waste over the same timeperiod.

I would like mainstream companies to build stuff that lasts , I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
I grew up in a world where broken things got mended and carried on for a bit longer. Given that we do need manufactured goods, that seems to be the best option. Unfortunately modern economies are based on the notion that people will buy things they don't need then throw them away when a new version comes out - they don't even wait for them to break! No hope at all of 'sustainability' while that is the norm.

Nuclear is our best energy option. Unfortunately in Europe the greenies have ensured long delays while they build their windmills - which require at least the same amount of installed fossil-fueled plant to provide backup for calm days. Wind can never provide more than a small fraction of our energy needs, and it upsets grid stability too. From a power engineering point of view it would be difficult to come up with a worse source of energy.

Last edited by DF96; 16th June 2013 at 04:55 PM. Reason: add nuclear
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Old 17th June 2013, 06:10 AM   #9
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Hi all,

Interesting to notice that you all seem to have a perspective on sustainability ... Although I, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I myself frequently reuse parts from scrapped electronics my main angle on this is more like how to relate to the new purchases and developments made in audio.

It's my impression that components and technologies develop all the time and although reuse of already made items may be feasible in some respects it won't be in maybe 99.99% of cases (just a guess of mine). It may take too long time, may reduce component reliability (due to repeated soldering etc.), and may not allow for use of components that are desired due to a likely progress in audio.

So - without hopefully being too insisting on an "onwards perspective" I'd like to quote myself here:

Quote:
- are there some manufacturers who make a genuine effort to reduce their imprint on earth? And still make superb components/products? And if so, who are they?
Also, I'm aware that other sources of pollution (cars, home heating/cooling, other CO2 sources etc.) may contribute significantly to pollution, yet here in Denmark many people have two LCD TVs as well as a stereo, computer, computer screen, etc. All used electronic components. And - without knowing in detail - it's my impression that the materials used in audio components in general poses some load on the environment.

Personally, I'm an adherent to the cradle-to-cradle philosophy - that products can continue to be made but that they are part of a use/reuse/full recycle path where the component's materials are continuously recycled. Today this is hardly possible in audio, however, in another field companies like the North Face & Patagonia make a substantial effort to reuse materials in some/many of their goods.

Can it be done in audio - and if so - who does it?

So I would hope to have more of your inputs on this ...

Greetings,

Jesper
__________________
... Being mindful about sustainability also in my audio endeavors matters to me ... paying CO2 - and a quite fair pollution compensation helps create a good listening "energy" ...

Last edited by gentlevoice; 17th June 2013 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 17th June 2013, 06:25 AM   #10
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About your thoughts on nuclear - it could be an interesting talk although I think that it's maybe more in context in a sustainable power generation forum ....

Greetings,

Jesper
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... Being mindful about sustainability also in my audio endeavors matters to me ... paying CO2 - and a quite fair pollution compensation helps create a good listening "energy" ...
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