Have you ever wondered where that first laptop you had for only three years or less ended up? We live in a culture where every computer or device is merely a stepping stone to a new device. The result of this change-over is that millions of electronic devices are being dumped into countries all over the third world, resulting in hazardous waste effectively destroying whole cities in Asian countries. One city, Guiyu, is nearly completely covered and reliant on this toxic waste.
This cause has been highlighted primarily by Michael Zhao http://michaelzhao.net/eDump/ but in an effort to help spread his message, I am starting this petition. Before you read any further, go to his website and educate yourself further about this problem, or go here http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/festival/play/6747/eDump and watch his film. It is time to demand that these companies be held accountable for their "e-waste." As he highlights, the US is the only country not following through on the agreement they signed to eliminate the most harmful products from their devices. It is possible to produce cleaner, safer devices, but it is more impractical and more expensive. I believe that is no excuse. Not contributing to the poisoning of people and destruction of lifestyles across the globe is worth the extra effort and money.
Sign this petition and demand that these companies stop creating devices which end up in dumps and factories where they poison men, women, and children across the globe. And then think critically about the devices you are buying. Instead encourage them to make products from green materials, which (although more expensive) will not do the kind of damage these cheaper materials do. Again, check out Michael's site and video for more on that. If nothing else let this position encourage you to find out more about his research.
Companies like Google sold devices on average for about $3 last year. They know that the profit they make is not on these first devices, but on the turnover when people buy their second device. If my first device costs $500, of course I would be upset to have to buy a second device in another year. But if my first device was only $3, I naturally recognize I am getting two devices for $503 when I have to get the second device. Make these companies rethink their introductory, "feeder" devices, and spend more money and effort making better, long-lasting, safe devices. Create greener devices and we will end the cycle and save these cities across the globe.
The rest of the world is not our trash can, and just because we do not see this waste does not mean it is not there.
(Note: Even many of the "recycling companies" like Best Buy do not have the capabilities to recycle their own waste so it is sent to the very factories which end up dumping the pieces overseas.)
Andrew Forbes started this petition with a single signature, and now has 75 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.