The Story of Electronics

story of electronics
source: The Story of Stuff

The day I launched Life Your Way, I issued a challenge for readers to clear out the old technology in their homes and recycle them properly. The challenge was two-fold: to eliminate clutter in our homes and to make sure that technology wasn’t ending up in landfills, where it could harm the environment and, ultimately, the people we love.

However, I recently watched the newest installment in The Story of Stuff campaign, and I’m not feeling so great about recycling my technology now either. Apparently, a lot of these “recycling” programs consist of shipping the products overseas to villages, where workers in unsafe conditions dismantle the technology, exposing themselves and their villages to tons of chemicals in the process.

Watch the full story of electronics below to see what I mean:

(If you’re reading this post in email or a feed reader, you may need to click here to view the embedded video below.)

So what is the solution?

I’m afraid the only one I’ve come up with is the obvious but unpopular one: buy fewer electronics. It’s tempting to always have the latest and greatest technology, but at what cost? Another option is to donate your old technology to people who may not be able to afford it otherwise, which certainly delays the inevitable, but as long as consumers are buying next generation electronics, manufacturers are going to continue to build them so that they’re “disposable” rather than more permanent items that can be upgraded over time.

The team behind The Story of Stuff project also encourages you to take action and offers a list of ways that you can make a difference!

After watching the video, how do you feel about the impact that your electronics have on the environment?

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