This is by no means an attack on Apple, but the picture of the little girl is just so heartbreaking because sadly it represents what we’re leaving over for our kids. We’re all contributing to the big problem of electronical waste and should be aware of what happens with the out-of-date appliances.
Electronic waste, “e-waste” or “Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment” (“WEEE“) is a waste type consisting of any broken or unwanted electrical or electronic appliance. It is a point of concern considering that many components of such equipment are considered toxic and are not biodegradable. (from Wikipedia)
Electronic waste is, if not treated properly, a major source of toxins and carcinogens. We all know how the working conditions are in China or India and that is exactly where we send our waste to be processed because the environmental standards are much lower than they are in the western world. The disposal and the uncontrolled burning represents an unprecedented health problem.
You’re probably an architecture student – look around you. I check out my desk area and I see what will someday become a nasty pile of e-waste. Printer, scanner, laptop, external drive, camera, cell phone, iPod. Of course without that you cannot possibly function or succeed in any way as a student at a design school these days. And until I see laptops made of corn , I basically don’t have a choice but to buy all that. What we can do, however, is properly dispose these items. Please read the following article (slovenian): Manj elektronskih smeti – pa še proizvajalec plača. If you’re swinging around with a Star Wars Sword at the moment it’s ok, have your fun, but have a heart and do what you’re supposed to when you get bored with it. Unless you want your kids to inherit them. In that case you’re freaking me out. Go away.
WEEE man – a robotic figure made of scrap electrical and electronic equipment, by Paul Bonomini.
You can measure your footprint here.