GUEST POST: Teaching children about e-waste

teaching children about e-waste

Mums like us have this incredible opportunity to infuse our impressionable young with correct values – even as they are exposed daily to huge doses of commercialism we can teach them how to be environmentally conscious. The journey towards awareness begins with us because children imbibe naturally what we do; not what we say. It will be up to us to foster their desire to “waste not, want not” because it is so much easier these days to desire something that is glossy and spanking new even if we do not need it.

We all know about recycling and upcycling. But what about choosing manufacturers and stores that pro-actively support our choice to create a better world? Incredible as it seems, stores should now look beyond profit (and gadget upgrades) into responsible disposal of e-waste. That toxic morass of discards sent to Ghana, China and other countries where they could cause cancer and poison land, sea and air is a reality; not just a trumped-up issue by well-meaning environmentalists. This infographic on e-waste shows how our beloved smartphone and other electronics can be cleverly disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner that will make the earth and your pocket smile.

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As we move on to better, faster and more eco-friendly gadgets, our old, functional ones can have a second lease on life and make us richer by a few pounds more by selling through pre-loved sites. Bartering for a service and donating to charity are likewise valid options, specially if the recipients are students, the elderly or those disadvantaged by poverty or an infirmity. On the other hand, damaged goods and batteries can be sent to reuse organizations – unless you are adept at upcycling old motherboards into fashion accessories or works of art. The rise of the millennials with ready cash and an almost unquenchable thirst for connectivity highlights this problem – one that we can help alleviate responsibly.

The ideal scenario would be a shift in the manufacturer’s mindset from “programmed obsolescence” to one where better product design which lengthen the product’s useful years. Stores like MyTrendyPhone encourages both online and physical stores to go beyond selling the latest electrical gadgets for home and business in the belief that electronic producers, marketers and sellers should proactively partner with consumers in caring for a sustainable world.

Living in a circular world involves conscious detachment from what advertisers push. Thankfully we are going to that direction where manufacturers see us as USERS, not just consumers and are going green from logistics, to packaging and product design.

Infographic is courtesy of MyTrendyPhone

Written by Mary Verdure Biron-Tolentino Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, MyTrendyPhone and contributor to Entrepreneur and Cosmopolitan Magazines

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