Saturday, September 11, 2010
technology, recycling and repair and gratuitious images
I found, via Metafilter, an interview with Kyle Wiens of iFixit talking about repairability, the impact on the environment of our consumer culture and the importance of extending device lifespans to reduce the amount of waste we're dumping. He has been working in Africa exploring the horrific conditions in which people are extracting valuable materials from our consumer waste - video here. I've been a huge fan of iFixit for years, using their manuals and parts to repair computers with my kids. I had no idea of the scope of their ambitions until I saw this and I'm very impressed. I've said for years that I'd happily pay more for computers designed with repair and upgradability designed in rather than planned obsolescence. We can't afford the environmental cost of continuing to build stuff to just toss it and replace it. It's immoral to dump stuff, full of heavy metals and toxic substances in third world nations where people will get horribly exposed to bad stuff while re-cycling what they can - just so we can keep buying the newest, latest gadget. Wiens isn't a Luddite and neither am I - I don't think we should go back to a non-technological society but we need to be smarter and more environmentally focused about how we use technology.