The most pain my computer can give me is if it doesn’t work. Based on this, I’d say the Robot Apocalypse is a long way off of it’s full realisation. Still, Jess and I have become more aware of the devastating impact our technology has.
I had heard a long time ago that for each mobile phone there’s 80 garbage bins worth of waste in the manufacturing process. That’s to say, a lot; I reckon I probably don’t produce 80 bin loads in a year!
It was one of those vague, ambiguous, possibly non-true type facts that you never really check up on to see if it’s accurate, but keep you scared none the less. Well the other night, Jess and I were looking into maybe getting a new phone for Jess. Her plan had expired so we thought we could get one for practically free, and besides that’s what you do right? Jess and I try to be conscious of the human and ethical implications of anything we buy, so she did some research into what brands were ‘ethical’. Forebode….
Whilst it’s usually hard to find good data on the ethical status of electrics (in my experience) this proved not to be the case with Mobiles. Sooooo, you’re all wondering which phone is the good one, the shining beacon of light that brings hope to Humanity…which one was the best?
None. No phone company really meets a standard of ethical production, each had huge allegations made against them and their contractors, including:
- ‘Silicon Sweat Shops’
- forcing workers to work over 70 hours a week
- Suppression of Unions and strikes
- High suicide rate amongst employees
- War profiteering
- Corporate prejudice and abuse
- Toxic waste production
Not to mention the tens of millions of working phones that are thrown out every year as consumers upgrade to new models. This is also true of other electronic devices as well.
Shocked, Jess and I have decided to hold onto our phones a little longer. I didn’t post this to make you feel bad, or to decry the hopelessness of the situation. Quite the opposite, I think we should all begin to take a greater responsibility to what we consume, and how we dispose of it. A cool thing to do with your old phones is donate them to raise funds for supporting youth with cancer. And here’s an awesome and inspiring video about change from my main gal Annie Leonard! Our everyday actions affect people and this world. Crazy huh! We can make great changes.