Reduce, recycle and reuse

Wednesday, 3 October 2018  @Business School

Meet Greta Ritchard, a UNSW Business School Bachelor of Commerce and Computer Science student, passionate about using technology to combat environmental and social issues.

Greta is a recipient of the Women in Technology scholarship from Google, and has completed a two-year cadetship with Westpac. She is now the coordinator of eReuse, an Arc initiative that rebuilds unwanted computers to redistribute to disadvantaged communities.

Reducing e-waste and closing the digital divide is a priority for Greta, and through eReuse, she can combine her passions for technology and the environment with real life outcomes.

"By rebuilding a computer, I am physically reducing waste while taking a broken computer, fixing it up and giving it to someone who would not be able to easily get one themselves and who I know will benefit from it," Ritchard said.

When she started her role as eReuse Coordinator, Greta set a goal to donate 100 computers by the end of the year. So far, her team has donated 80 computers, with each computer having had a very significant impact on the recipient's life.

"A social worker contacted us about a client of hers who could not leave the house due to a disability and did not have access to computer," Ritchard said.

"The computer we donated allowed him to be more connected with the outside world. It was great to see how we helped make his everyday life more manageable."

Greta is now running the eReuse program in the UNSW Michael Crouch Innovation Centre. This weekly, three-hour workshop brings together volunteers to repair computers and according to Greta, specialist IT skills aren't necessary.

"When I was going through this year's applications, I was looking for people who genuinely cared about helping people, the environment and had a love for technology - not someone who was just technically savvy," Ritchard said. 

"We can teach them how to repair a computer and so our focus was to find people with a passion for the cause and who would consistently show up throughout the semester.

"The benefits of finding people who truly care about the same things, is that it creates a very special vibe in the workplace and with many fun moments."

If you would like to be involved in eReuse, the applications open from Week 11


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