This is one of my biggest concerns, and finally I read about it on Edudemic.
I’m not really sure how I feel about this though. While it does talk about rare earth elements and how important they are, I guess I was hoping for more about the how and the why to teach it.
Many tech teachers (well the ones that I know) all feel this is important, but with limited explicit tech teaching time, we may miss out on these opportunities to talk about recycling products that have things we desperately need if we are to continue this style of life.
|Some rights reserved by Dell’s Official Flickr Page|
While I think it is great that companies like Dell (above) and Apple (when you search for it) have recycling programs, I think we have to move beyond that for tech. By making producers responsible for the goods they create, making the source responsible for recycling, upcycling, repurposing whatever we might be better off.
For those tinkerers and people who want to mess around with the device, they can pay a premium to own it, but other than that, I think our devices should be rented, returned, upgraded and then brought back into our hands, or our classrooms or whatever.
Here in Cambodia, we can’t access these types of recycling programs, so we are just contributing to massive waste by living in a place with no access to these programs (I do go to Singapore often, and would bring my products there, but it seems like a hefty price to pay both with engine fuel and cash to recycle something small like an iPad).
Awhile ago I read in the Big Issue that many Australians have extra mobile phones just hanging around the house, so all of these rare earth elements can’t be extracted. If producers were responsible, I’m sure it would cut down on this type of waste.
Not really sure where I’m headed with this, but how can we teach about sustainability while using technology, any ideas?