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Zero Waste Gadgets

March 23, 2019

Eliminating, substituting and/or reducing our waste from the never-ending obsession around the latest gadgets that we can't live without.

 

 

In my teens, my gift requests saw a pronounced shift from toys to gadgets - it started with a cell phone (the ever reliable and indestructible NOKIA, woot woot!), and progressed to digital cameras and mp3 players and laptops. These were often granted to me after a particular achievement (getting good grades, getting into college, getting a scholarship, the occasional birthday treats, etc). 

 

When I started earning my own money, I no longer had to wait for the gift fairies to show up - I could now buy whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it! With that came a slew of iPods and iPhones and iPads and DSLRs and laptops (and associated accessories) that paraded their way in and out of my life.

 

And parade they did, sometimes in very quick succession, quickly getting thrown out whenever a newer, shinier version appeared in the market. I wasn’t the only one doing this though - plenty of others do the same. In fact, millions of others do the same, leading us merrily into…

 

 

A Major e-Waste Problem

 

Electronics are unfortunately packed with toxic chemicals: lead, arsenic, poly-brominated flame retardants, etc. When they end up in landfills, the toxic metals don’t just sit pretty, they actually leach out into the environment. Now imagine 20 million tons of that stuff being thrown away annually, and being shipped to poor countries so rich countries can pretend it didn’t happen, and you get this: