Wednesday, May 7, 2014
My Country, 'Tis of Thee
I love my country. Let me say that up front. But I am somewhat bemused by the penchant many have of displaying the flag anywhere and everywhere. Especially when it's decorating a trailer full of discarded televisions and computers.
Our rural county has made great progress in the almost forty years since we moved here. Back in '75, if you wanted to get rid of garbage, you drove it to the county dump -- or, far too often, threw it in the river or in the woods. It was pretty awful.
Now we have recycling centers in the various communities -- dumpsters and trailers and bins for collecting plastics, paper, glass, metal, tires, appliances, old clothing, and used motor oil. It's quite a nice change and you hardly ever see sofas dumped in creeks anymore.
E-waste was a later addition to the recycling -- and it stuck me, the other day, that for a poor rural county, we sure consume and throw away a lot of expensive stuff.
And where does this e-waste go? I don't know about in our county- note to self:find out-- but a lot ends up in China or Africa where people poison their environment and themselves attempting to extract the trace amounts of gold and other salable odds and ends from the discarded computers, televisions, e-phones, I-pads, etc.
There are better alternatives but they require a little detective work on the part of the discarder. Some companies -- I believe Dell and Sony are among them -- have 'green' recycling alternatives. The article linked to HERE is well worth the read.
And, 0f course. we could attempt to consume less -- hang on to the old TV or phone a bit longer if it's not actually broken.
But some would say that was an un-American suggestion.