Friday, October 21, 2011

Why Electronic Gadgets Aren't Truly Green

Take it from the math-and-computer-head:

Yes, although AC is supposed to have editors to prevent this, title typos do get permanently embedded in the system...the way old electronic gadgets get permanently, and toxically, embedded in the environment.

When we in the United States turn our old electronics in for recycling, the gadgets go away from our neighborhood, which is great for our neighborhood but not so great for the rest of our round world. These pieces of toxic waste are shipped to poor countries and re-processed by people desperate enough to work for a minimum wage far below any minimum wage we know. Many of these workers are women and children. Safety and hygiene are not considered so important in poor countries as in rich countries, so from time to time reports of toxic waste being handled by five-year-olds or dumped into drinking water get back to the United States. The way our computers, cell phones, and electronic games are recycled is anything but Green.

So, let's all keep our electronics to the bare minimum (yes, this means supporting public computer centers rather than having a computer for every family member at home), use everything as long as it can possibly be used, and send it for recycling only when it's past all hope of repair.