i-Waste

I own a Nokia mobile phone.

The kind that has a shoddy 2 mega pixel camera, where the buttons make clicking noises and the only thing that happens when I touch the screen is that it looks slightly cleaner.

As you can imagine, this little Nokia not only receives much laughter and incredulity, but also transports people down memory lane to their first beloved Nokia or even, first phone.

As someone hoping to become a journalist this is, as you can imagine; problematic. I can't tweet, blog or facebook on the train, I don't have an ABC, BBC or NYT app to read on the tram and I can't entertain myself trawling through the internet and reading all sorts of useless things.

My laptop is not in any better shape. Back in 2009, it was one of the newly released ASUS net books but now, against smaller and sleeker versions, let alone tablets, it looks old and outdated. Not to mention, I am one of the only people who can press on the SD card reader at the right angle to make it work or maneuver the crazy mouse pad and buttons.

Amid this outdated technology, I have considered and researched my options. Should I; get a Mac laptop, get a smart phone, get a kindle, get an i- phone, get a tablet, get some other kind of e- reader or get an i-pad?

After much debate, I am still stuck in the early 2000's, not because of indecisiveness, but more so, environmental awareness.

According to 'The European Environment Agency' and 'UNEP,' 40-50 million tonnes of electrical equipment waste are produced each year globally. Most of this waste ends up in landfill, can can be shipped to places such as dump sites in Kenya and India. For people who depend upon scavenging in waste for resalable items, electronic waste is seemingly heaven sent as the list of elements and metals inside range from the toxic to the non- toxic and includes; arsenic,  mercury, copper and gold. To access these metals, however, the plastic coating on electronic goods needs to be removed, often through mass burning, and can lead to health issues including respiratory problems and increased cancer risk as well as ecological problems such as soil and water contamination.

While new technology is improving our lives and bringing the world 'closer' together, recycling, reusing or disposing of electronic waste, has not kept up with technological advances and we are seeing a rapid obsolescence of electrical goods worldwide. There are however, ways to minimise waste through organisations such as MobileMuster, who recycle mobile phones or through reselling goods on Ebay or Gumtree.

For now, I have decided to keep my archaic Nokia phone and decrepit laptop until they become unusable and perhaps play old school snake on my phone or better yet, just read book on the train.