Diwali – A Fresh Start
GigSky has an office in Bangalore, and across all of our offices, many of our colleagues are connected to India. Diwali is this week. Also called Deepavali and Divali, it literally means a “Row of Lights.” For Hindus, it is one of the most festive, popular and beautiful times of the year. It is a time filled with light and love, personal reflection and lots of home cleaning! A central theme is preparation for a fresh start.
In the spirit of bringing light and cleansing to all areas of life, I started a long overdue clearing of all the dark corners where we typically throw items no longer in use and long forgotten. My shelves and drawers were loaded with tech detritus – old models iPhones, iPads, laptops, iPods, even a couple of old Blackberries! I was never going to use any of these again – but how could I best dispose of them in an ecologically and socially responsible way?
The United Nations estimates that 20 to 50 tons of e-waste is being generated per year worldwide. According to Economics Research International, “e-waste mostly ends up dumped in countries where environmental standards are low or nonexistent and working conditions are poor. Historically Asia has been a popular dumping ground, but as regulations have tightened in these countries, this trade has moved to other regions, particularly West Africa. Most developing countries lack the waste removal infrastructure and technical capacities necessary to ensure the safe disposal of hazardous waste. And e-waste has been linked to a variety of health problems in these countries, including cancer, neurological and respiratory disorders, and birth defects.”, source here.
Cleaning our homes and office shouldn’t mean further polluting the earth.
Here are few resources that I hope will be helpful to others:
- Digital Links has distributed over 50,000 reused computers to the developing world and provided access to technology for over 125,000 individuals.
- Close the Gap makes reused and refurbished computers available to underprivileged individuals in Africa and other developing countries. They are committed to finding new and innovative solutions to sustainably bridge the digital divide and seek to turn e-waste into a social driver. This is an amazing non-profit.
- Best Buy has collected and responsibly disposed of more than 1 billion pounds of electronics and appliances, making them the largest retail collection program in the U.S. Best Buy is committed to continue working with certified recyclers to collect 2 billion pounds of e-waste by 2020.
Do you have some great resources for e-waste recycling?
Light, Love and Happy Diwali to All!