Posted by: gary | 2006/07/27


i read the article about ewaste. it is sily. the more we buy new products the more poor people have a chance tobuy up our used mobile phones etc. so everybody will get a chance to afford to own something, or do you think the poor should go into debt to buy new stuff?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEnviroHealth expert

So what you’re saying is we should all consume as much electronic gadgetry as we possibly can as fast as we can? In that case you’ll be glad to know that’s exactly what we’re doing already!

The trouble with all this lovely technology (and a lot of it IS great), is that it doesn’t materialize out of thin air: all those Ipods require a lot of resources and processing to make, which contributes to pollution and global warming. And they don’t just disappear into thin air again once we’re finished with them. Oh, they also require energy to run…

I'm saying that whatever your buying power, everyone needs to consume less and try to find ways to lengthen the life of things you don't want any more. There isn't a shortage of second-hand electronic products, there's a glut - but we need to get them back into circulation. Sure, reselling is one way to do this.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Envirohealth expert | 2006/08/05

It's amazing how often it's expressed: this idea that environmentalism is about retarding progress ('back to the caves' as Mark puts it), when really it's about finding ways to progress less harmfully. Maybe some people find it easier to ignore the issues by just labelling anything with a Green hue as flakey/ sentimental/ economically naive. But we're long past the time when environmental concerns could be viewed as an eccentric side-line; like it or not, they're centre stage.

OK, I admit it: some Greenies are decidely flakey. And a few would in fact prefer to live in caves.

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Posted by: Mark | 2006/08/04

I honestly don't know if you are trying to pull everybody's leg here, or if you are just plain thick. The whole point of sustainable development (look the term up in case you never came across it!) is that we have to consciously look at our consumption and production patterns. This implies putting environmental considerations into the thinking equation. Your praise of more manufacturing will simply result in our natural resources being consumed much faster, the planet definitely being destroyed, global warming increasing etc etc.
You also really miss the point of the article, namely it did not say that we should not buy as a matter of principle, it merely said not just simply for the sake of buying and because something is cool, new and trendy. If that is your motivation to buy a new cell, tv, car, clothes simply because you slavishly follow adverts and the so-called in-crowd then that is your choice. But just keep in mind that future generations and this planet will suffer. I am by no means implying that we go back to the caves, simply that we act more responsibly, that's all.
Does that now finally drive the point home for you?

Reply to Mark
Posted by: EnviroHealth Expert | 2006/07/27

The thing is, Gary, there are other issues at stake apart from economic considerations. You know, little issues like human health, the planet, the continued existence of the species? But even if you don't care about that stuff, 'spend spend spend' isn't always the best thing for a country's economy - ours, for example...

Reply to EnviroHealth Expert
Posted by: gary | 2006/07/27

what i am trying to carry over is that it is no sin to spend spend spend!! encourage people to spend money to buyt new stuff. it stimulates the manufacturing industry and poor folks can gratefully buy the old stuff!! so praise the rich for spending!!

Reply to gary
Posted by: gary | 2006/07/27

sorry i am not wrong. the letter clearly said rich people always buying glamorous new products. it did not once refer to poor people disposing stuff. it talks about people wanting trendy stuff. since when is old things trendy!! ??

Reply to gary
Posted by: Suzanne | 2006/07/27

You idiot. You're missing the message. This is exactly what the article implies - that people rather sell or give their old equipment to people instead of dumping it in the bin or on the pavement. The person who wrote the article knows that excessive purchasing cannot be stopped, but urges people to at least try and re-use or re-cycle if they can't control themselves in buying new stuff.

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