Sending Electronic Waste Abroad

The US state of California sends approximately 20m pounds of electronic waste (e-waste) abroad each year. Some of this is toxic materials that these countries are not supposed to accept, such as those containing barium, cadmium, mercury and lead. However controls are not strict enough, and resources not great enough to prevent a lot of this material being sent abroad.

Top Californian e-waste destinations
Malyasia – 7.9m lbs
Brazil – 3.6m lbs
South Korea – 3.5m lbs
China – 2.3m lbs
Mexico – 1.8m lbs
Vietnam – 0.7m lbs
India 0.2m lbs

With the increasing numuber of people aware of the need to recycle, it’s sad to see that efforts are not taken quite as much at the other end. What actually happens to the waste you send to be recycled? We’ll be looking at that very soon.

[Via: Union Tribune]

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Surface Computing – Not Just For Geeks

Even if you have never heard of surface computing, you will soon start to see it everywhere. Initially in retial stores and businesses, they’ll soon come to the home. The following video explains what this is, but if you’ve seen the movie Minority Report then you may be familiar with it. there are more videos available on the Microsoft Surface website. I wonder what the energy consumption is like…..

[Via TechCrunch]

Re-Use Old Computers Rather Than Recycling Them

Computer Aid is the world’s largest non-profit supplier of computers to developing nations. Whilst they also recycle computers, re-using them is 20 times more effective at saving life-cycle energy.

Computer Aid

The production of every desktop PC consumes 240kg of fossil fuels, 22kg of chemicals and 1.5 tonnes of water according to a recent study. A re-used PC can have a 3 or 4 year life-span at schools and universities in Africa.

Businesses and individuals alike can recycle, so if you have old computers why not re-use them with Computer Aid.

The World’s Most Eco-Friendly Electronics Company

Chinese company Lenovo has come first in a Greenpeace ranking of the world’s most eco-friendly electronics firms, with Apple coming last out of the 14 firms studied.

The report is produced quarterly by Greenpeace and is available to download here. Looking mainly at aspects such as toxic chemical poliocy and reduction of their use, the study had some surprising results. Lenovo, who bought out IBM’s consumer division a few years ago, will recycle any of their goods if returned to them, whilst Apple have yet to commit to stopping the use of some toxic substances.

Electronics Guide

Sources: BBC and Greenpeace

PC World To Sell “First Green Computer”

The Mail on Sunday has reported that PC World is developing the first ‘green’ computer as part of parent company DSG International’s efforts to tackle global warming.

The carbon-neutral computer will cost between £550 and £650 and go on sale in the autumn. Its hard drive will be made from recycled or recyclable materials, as will the cables and most other parts.
DSG chief executive John Clare said: “It will be the first energy-efficient computer in the world. While it will cost about £50 more than an equivalent-spec computer, it will not be double the price. It will appeal to environmentally aware consumers”. The retailer will also plant trees to offset carbon emissions from the manufacture of the computers central processing unit.

Whilst the chief executive clearly admits the absence of a maths degree, old computers and other gadgetry could do with being much more environmentally friendly so this could be great news. I’ve got old bits and pieces of computer equipment lying about that I don’t want to throw in the bin but am not sure what to do with. Anyone have any ideas? Where in the world…..?

Secure Your Computer the Easy Way

Knowledge Central is a website that simply explains how to protect your PC from the latest online threats. It takes you step-by-step through the different pieces of (usually free) software that will enable you to be protected from viruses and spyware. The site is not influenced by any particular software vendors and just links to the best.

Knowledge Central

Covering everything from firewalls, anti-virus, anti-spyware, and strong passwords, to child safety and backups, the site simply tells you why you need it, what it does, and where to get it. For free. There is even a help glossary for those terms you hear and read about, but don’t understand.

Learn how to protect your PC for free at Knowledge Central.