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Patagonian Paradise & the Dangers of Electronic Recycling

After watching "The Story of Stuff", I've been thinking a lot about it. Some synaptic bridge suddenly connected in my brain the other day, and I remembered reading about the former owner of Esprit moving to Chile, buying up 700,000 acres of rainforest land and turning it into a sanctuary. While I was trying to find the article on-line (please do read it, it's well written and will make you want to go there!), I stumbled on THIS article about the hidden dangers of electronic-recycling. As the Story of Stuff mentions, consumerism is creating the problem. If manufacturers designed their products to be upgraded (think about computers, cell phones, ipods to start) instead of being tossed out or recycled, it would start to attack the problem. Then make them responsible for properly dealing with the e-waste on the back end, and you can be sure they'd be designing products that were far more robust and durable (not to mention a lot "greener"). The "hidden cost" of our consumerist behavior is not being transmitted to us in those insanely cheap prices we're used to a the register, and it fosters an environment where the impulse buy is king. In the meantime, writing to the companies themselves and asking for the change is a good idea. Apple, IBM, Intel, Dell, HP would be good places to start. I have been guilty of wanting the "new thing", which is currently the iPhone. I've managed to retain my 3rd Gen iPod and I've already changed out the battery on it myself. It would be great to have the same software that the newest generation iPods have, but that's not an option that Apple made possible: poor thinking IMO. I'm kind of disgusted by the fact that I'm always confronted by the "new thing" and that I somehow unconsciously developed a predication towards viewing the "old thing" as inferior; according to the Story of Stuff, that's exactly the mindset that the consumer chain wants me to have. I have to actively fight that mindset, and I'm getting better at it, but it's still a daily struggle.

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