By Kirrat Sachdeva:
When it comes to digitizing our lifestyle, our choices are pretty naÃ¯ve. Possessing the latest configuration in gadgets is no longer a question of affordability as the market is flooded with a wide range of brands that defy all brackets of budget. The primary human needs are now wired to technical specifications.
The temptations of consumerism have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Landlines are now pocket sized and portable, a smart screen LED is the new wall hanging in our living rooms and printed text has evolved into binaries of the Kindle and its likes.
As we rationalize the functionality of our everyday lives around electronics, little do we realize the cost of our guilty pleasure. The rate at which we consume electronic goods today, we end up discarding a piece of technology at the speed of light. Once redundant, we resort to a new piece of technology to indulge in our fancies.
Simply discarding electronics and making it an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ case, has adverse effects on both the environment and human lives. The burden of our luxury has resulted in generating 40 million metric tons of electronic waste globally, every year. In India, afterlife of most of the electronic waste is handled by the informal sector. Active metals, radioactive substances and harmful chemicals are treated and recycled in such hazardous conditions that put the environment as well as human lives in grave danger.
So the next time you go out to discard an almost perfectly functioning smartphone or a tablet just because there is a newer version in the market, remember the following numbers: