Image Credit: Markus Spiske

E-waste, or electronic waste, is the result of disposed electronic devivces and is the ugly off-spring of the technological world we live in. We often think of how good technology is for the environment by reducing out dependance on non-renewable resources. The materials used to manufacture electronics is also quite nasty, and the fact that many components can not be recycled. Most of the steel, copper, plastics, gold, and silver can be recycled. However, the lead used to solder the components to the circuit boards, along with the batteries, are very bad for the environment.

I would never advocate going backwards and not using gadgets, but more so being responsible with how we use our technology. Many gadgets have a usefulness outside of its mainstream use. An example would be using a old home laptop as a file server, proxy, firewall, or media server. For a person that is truly into tech, repurposing hardware and installing some Linux distribution is part of the fun. Not only do to add new life into something, but this also sharpens your skills in many different facets of tech.

Let's be honest, the breakthroughs in technology are not as great as they were in years past. Smartphones, for example, have come a long way since their beginnings. Currently, the advancements in smartphone hardware comes in 1 extra megapixel or a slightly faster processor. Many phones now are reducing their on-board storage capacity in favor of using cloud storage to acheive a smaller and lighter packange. I have personally struggled with upgrading some devices, because it seems like I am getting less options for more money. Besides, most of the advancements now seem to be more software related than hardware related. With Open Source software being a vast as it is, the opportunities to do more with the same becomes an easier option.

Continue reading:How do I dispose of my computer?


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