Electronics & Eco-system – Are we charging in balance?

“With brands like iPhone and Samsung fold luring us every day to change our electronics like we change our wardrobe – nature is getting warmer and Nokia just released a trailer of 5 lens camera-phone Nokia 9 to explore every detail! Let us zoom in to how this affects us than upgrading to yet another device”

As per the modern code of ethics, with every new and shiny development in technology and machinery, environmentalists are more likely to dispose of it as a serious threat to nature’s deteriorating health. They’re not wrong may be little far-fetched but jury is still out on it and we, at Pooja Electronics, want to openly discuss this topic as we are the retailers and admit our strong responsibility in guiding you towards the truth of technology and breaking any myth along the way.

Equilibrium is the concept that we are taught early in science lessons often related to wide-ranging concepts like chemical equilibrium, social and environmental. It is often said with everything that excess is harmful and the concept of equilibrium which is to maintain the same amount of giving and take until both sides are balanced teaches us the same in a more profound way. Undoubtedly, the advent of technology has only made things easier for us and who are we? We, too, are a part of nature. We will not talk about the eco-system and the effects of electronics that we use daily treating them as a separate entity from us. To balance out the things that we humans have invented and the burden it created on nature, we must reconsider our position in nature. Are we really powerful enough to keep easing our way to lives with new inventions and tolling the discarded on nature and still hash things out with creative solutions? The answer is yes, surprisingly given by the very own environmentalists.

Electronics, big types of machinery, vehicles and several other household inventions, etc. are not the reason we stare at the pale sky and breathe the polluted air. The responsible culprit is e-waste. E-waste is any discarded electronic entity which was thrown away in working or non-working condition. A simple Google search will tell you that e-waste management industry is booming and is a lucrative business if you ask us! An average household spends more money on electronics than any other things per year. The demand for mobile phones, computers, tablets and TVs etc. has skyrocketed and the supply has increased both to cater to demand and tease the market too.

Here are the few of the reasons why e-waste is creating havoc on our earth:

  • Technology and software are two fields that have seen constant up gradation within a short span of time – every six months new features are being added to our electronics and producers leverage this by constantly in fluxing the market with new upgraded devices and marketing them to us. The result of this that we end up switching to new devices even though our previous ones were in good working condition. This upgrading process is becoming faster and faster leading us to dispose of devices at a much higher rate creating unnecessary e-waste.
  • Companies deliberately withdraw or withheld software support, software updates to older devices forcing the hands of the consumer to buy a new one. As a social obligation, more companies who want to take a leap towards greener future need to stop practising this right and let the devices run as long as possible.
  • Do you buy a new TV if remote (<insert link here>) of the current TV doesn’t work? Do you buy a new phone if your headphone (<insert link here>) doesn’t work? No, right. This doesn’t make sense. Similarly, as consumers, it is our job to realise how to use a device longer without getting lured in by an update that promises nothing but a bug fix. Don’t throw out your electronics.
  • Protect electronics. As the size of the devices shrinks, thinnest mobile phone to wireless headphones to magnetic chargers, it becomes necessary that we invest in things like protective cover & be mindful of the uses. Devices today are more fragile thus creating a lot of repairs, replacement and purchase demands. Though repairing sounds legible it does create e-waste that shouldn’t have been in the first place. Read our last blog on how to increase the lifetime of your electronics.
  • The journey of making our electronics isn’t always a very clean one. Most of the precious metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, barium and lithium etc. come from illegal mining in countries like Rwanda where military control the mining and in often unhygienic conditions where they don’t use proper techniques. Believe or not, this issue is largely known yet quietly ignored. When we don’t dispose of our electronics in a proper way – the next step of e-waste “The proper disposal method” – these metals create pollution twice – when it was mined and when we throw it back to pollute the air and water. Effects are dangerous and wide-ranging including brain and birth damages.
  • The burning of e-waste (computers, peripherals, TVs, Air-conditioners) creates bioaccumulative toxins (PBTs) and carcinogenic smoke. Recycling is the only effective tool. Traditional waste disposable techniques like land-filling and melt-down are highly ineffective. Many good brands like Nokia offer safe e-waste disposable centres where you can drop off.

Now on to some MYTH-BUSTING:

  • We, at Pooja Electronics, often emphasise on consumers’ demands and though asking you to reduce your electronic waste by increasing the life-duration may seem to you like a bad idea for us to give as it, in turn, hurts our business, right? Wrong. Often e-commerce companies and all retailers fail to understand that fewer sales of new products and letting consumers use a product for a long time will lead to poor business is not true phenomena. Even consumers think the same and that’s where the creative solutions kick in. There are plenty of ways to sustain the technology economy and reduce e-waste at the same time (some of the ways we will talk about in our upcoming blog).
  • Using technology and software is doing well to nature as we get more tasks done virtually reducing our carbon footprint, right? Wrong. As we pointed at the beginning of this blog itself that we are also a PART OF ECO-SYSTEM and if it affects us then it will affect our surrounding. Radiation remains a huge concern on health effects and smarter technology makes us work, but our brain lesser, in turn, making us lazy is another quiet emerging issue that needs our top most attention.
  • Mini- electronic devices like mobile phones, headphones etc. save energy as they often allow us to cut-back on taking journeys and virtual meetings are in. Here is a statistic to bust this myth hard: Entire world spends as much electricity in charging devices in a year as India (having a population that is one-fifth of the entire world) does overall for everything! Increasing your daily downtime of electronics helps you to get better health and our eco-system a better scope.

Click and bait to buy “cutting-edge” technology is doing more damage to us in social, environmental and physical terms. We must limit our usage to necessary and recreational and not get overly dependent on it. Remember, our Eco-system is dependent on us and we are dependent on it so next time you charge your phone, remember to charge your plants with water too.

At Pooja Electronics, we wish you all (readers), a healthy life that is only possible when we break away from social and physical addiction to electronics. It impacts our social lives as well as we get more disconnected from the real world and immersed virtually.  There is a need for stringent policies from the government, business councils and companies as part of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) as well but we believe that a change begins with you and us.

Let us know what do you think about this topic and how you plan to reduce your e-waste and e-dependency in your life?