Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Stewardship: High tech trash pollutes

Many people have an image of the technology industry as a "clean" one. Elizabeth Grossman, author of "High Tech Trash", says it just ain't so:
  • The tech industry dumps pollutants into our groundwater.
  • Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) used on "regular" monitors are the most hazardous components.
  • The U.S. alone tosses out about 250 million computers each year!
ACTION: What can you, a steward of God's earth, do?
  • Re-use. Donate old computers and peripherals when possible.
  • Recycle. Some manufacturers accept returns, but they usually also charge you for shipping. That's an aggravating, but return the stuff when you can. You can already recycle printer cartridges through manufacturers and some vendor stores.
  • Change habits -- use LCD or plasma monitors, for example. As these increase in clarity and decrease in price, it's a very viable option.
  • Encourage companies to offer a recycling policy for old computers, monitors, and the like and to build the price of recycling into the item's cost.

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