Go here for a ton more facts on techno-trash: http://www.digitalresponsibility.org/environmental-and-societal-impact-of-technology/
A product that I “cannot live without” would definitely be my electronics. I am an Apple supporter 100%, and I love all their products. Their Macbooks, iPads, iPhones, and more- I love them all! That being said, I also go through them really fast, with the exception of my Macbook. I have been through 3 iPhones in the past 4 years or so, and am looking at getting a new iPad. I think Apple does this on purpose, but that’s besides the point. Majority of the time I keep the old iPad or Iphone for emergencies, then after a year or so, I throw it out. I have never thought about the impact or end result of throwing away electronics. I also never put much thought into what Apple does with products that are broken, made improperly, or discontinued. This is known as technotrash- when we dispose of our digital devices. In 2011 alone, the United States produced 3.41 millions tons of technotrash. In addition, we only recycled 24.9%. I found this fact, from an article on Digital Responsibility to be extremely shocking, and relevant to our current lecture: “The UN has calculated that producing the average computer and monitor requires 530 pounds of fossil fuels, 48 pounds of chemicals and 1.5 tons of water.” WOW!
Apple makes a very large profit on their production of iPhones. Apple, very strategically, gets all their supplies from over 200 manufacturers around the entire world. They are produced at a rate of about 350 phones per minute, and shipped all across the globe via planes, trucks, ships, and more. All of this production takes major sources of energy, such as fossil fuels like mainly gas, that is constantly polluting our earth. Not only is production emitting gases into our environment that pollute our air, it is also using non-renewable energy sources to produce a product that will last, on average, of about three years or less. As you know, we are having to constantly charge our iPhones, whether it be at home or in the car, and we are using a lot more energy than you can imagine. Actually, we use about two hours of energy to charge our iPhones from 0-100%, which can be more than one time a day for most people. As you can tell, through the information I have found and relayed for you, iPhones play a major role in our societal and environmental function. We depend on electronics in today’s society, but they put our environment in jeopardy. They may not make the biggest impact, but small things like iPhones, cars, ships, planes, factories, and all the other components of making an iPhone all add up to make a huge impact on our environment mainly through energy sources and air pollution. One good thing that Apple has implemented to try and change the way our electronics attack our environment is through recycling: Apple launched a renew and recycle plan that gives customers incentives for recycling their old phones for them to be refurbished or resale and recycle the materials properly. This keeps electronics from being wasted improperly, and helps cut down on new phone production. I do think that Apple plays a large role in cutting back on the fast turnover of making new phones through their recycling program, but it doesn’t change the fact that iPhones do not last long at all. They are constantly producing new ones, and there should be a cap on that in my opinion. Cutting back on the “newest and latest” phones, and making reliable and lasting phones will help the environment more than they could ever imagine. I think that is the first step making a real change. How that could be implemented, I am not sure: would it be the consumers, the government, or anyone else? I assume it will be the consumers, and the protectors of our environment. What do y’all think?