The cloud, virtual servers, dematerialisation, digitisation, the "non-monetisation" of many services, the web have progressively and to a large extent led to the replacement of paper mail and newspapers, photo films, DVDs, board games, by files, e-mails, video games, online videos. This whole digital world has replaced tangible objects and physical interactions, giving the illusion of a world that can be reduced to a terminal and bytes trying to make their way through the internet.
And yet, on the other side of the box, and before this terminal arrived in the hands of its first user, fossil resources, metals, water, a mind-boggling amount of chemical substances and precious know-how were required. Moreover, all these bytes do not circulate in a vacuum, a large amount of material and energy is mobilised to produce the equipment needed to transport, store and process them. The lifespan of this equipment is short. At the end of its life, all this will be transformed into waste which will unfortunately only be partially recovered.
In this section, you will discover the materiality of immaterials, the notion of life cycle, the environmental impacts of this equipment, the diversity of metals used and some good practices to reduce these impacts! But beware of rebound effects: increasing efficiency in a technology can lead to consuming either more of the same thing or more of something else thanks to the gains made.