The present picture
Technology has become the blood of the modern techno-savvy life that we humans are feasting on today. In the process of enriching the intricacies of this blood, we are causing excruciating inconvenience to the entire environment. Mobile phones, computers, laptops, notebooks, refrigerators, washing machines and every other gadget that gulps down electric fluid to live, adds up to the already piling up trash of metals and plastics. And worse, when these gadgets become practically outdated and withdrawn, they are discarded in the junk or are subjected to pressurised heat to melt them and recycle them off. Both these processes are harmful to the environment. So, the need of the hour is to scamper out for some methods which would if not eradicate, at least reduce the extent to which the environment is harmed.
Increase in electronic waste
It has grown by hideous proportions in the past few years, considering the fact that a country like China which measured a 1 percent use of electronic products in the 1990’s, has shot up to become the world’s 6th largest consumer of electronic items. The change has been drastic and many others like China are scampering to reach the same status of technological development. The results could be devastating, if we don’t look out for options other than plastics and metals soon. The day would not be far when a considerable proportion of the land would become a livid junkyard. The time has come to take a serious call on this matter because our metal and mineral reserves have already started experiencing the dawn of extinction.
1. World’s first biodegradable paper timepiece
Description: Quite trendy in looks, Patch, as it’s called, helps you be on time. With stunning LED display, this paper-based watch is both water proof and shock proof. Patch comes in 10 different colours and weighs as low as 11 grams. Go get yourself the funky watch for $33.50.
2. N701i eco phone
Description: One would be surprised to know that as much as 70% of this phone is made from biodegradable plastic which comes from kenaf (a plant from the family of okra and hibiscus) and poly-lactic acid extracted from corn & potatoes.
3. Corky mouse
Designer: Adele Peter
Description: How about using a mouse that generates energy every time you click it? Well, this corky mouse uses some piezoelectric components and is made from recyclable plastic and cork. Every time you click it, move or scroll it, the mouse tends to generate kinetic energy.
4. Cardboard vacuum cleaner
Designer: Jake Tyler
Description: Known as the Vax EV, this vacuum cleaner is made from recycled cardboard obtained from shipping containers. It is not green for the namesake, but the machinery it uses is made from nylon plastic that replaces the process of injection moulding with rapid process manufacturing.
5. Eco Turntables
Designers: Sennheiser and Mathew Lim
Description: The designer and the industry partner have together brought out a music combo that would contain a turntable and headphones, both carved out of bio-friendly products like bioplastic, fibrewood and felt. The entire package is gracefully huddled up in a box that is made of recycled wood.
Problems with biodegradable gadgets
- Biodegradable plastics are currently being used in a limited number of devices. The challenge is to make the facility available for a complete gadget, rather than to go for broken utilities in components.
- The facility for the production of biodegradable plastics is available in only a counted number of countries. It has to be extended to the other parts of the world to see a significant difference.
- The methodology through which biodegradable plastics and other forms of environment friendly or the so called green items are made, requires a considerable quantity of crude oil to be split out of its reserves. Thus, it is not much of ‘green’ actually.
It is only one line. The better we switch on to the green prospect (in the literal sense of the word), the better it is for us. The catch is to take the challenge head on. It is upon us as to how we would like to see the earth in the future – emerald green with lustrous forests and blue seas or fluorescent silver with screeching.