Friday 12 March 2010

Environment & Opinion: "To Buy or Not to Buy" & "To Dump or Not to Dump"

Currently, my trouble is that I am having less and less time for reading, and so I guess the best way to solve this problem is to get an electronic reader. There is the everyone's-talking-about iPad and I am totally an eBook-cum-IT person, but a laptop seems more suitable if I want to type and do project work or write my blog. 

How much is a laptop these days? I have no idea. I should walk around shopping malls and do some research. My guess is it is not going to be cheap. I don't have a budget yet, because I never want to spend money on electronic devices. Unless my current desktop went faulty * touch wood *, I wouldn't want to buy another. Now the situation is pushing me little by little to the edge.

I always have this question in my mind -- do we really need so many electronic devices with similar functions? Just looking at the specifications make me go dizzy. I would rather have 1 device that can do all and well, or 2 devices that can do their own jobs brilliantly, than to have 1 device that can only work half as good when put together. That is, I can either accept a camera phone with great photo-taking quality and communication ability, or a camera and a phone by themselves great, but I can't stand a mediocre phone with a lousy camera attached to it.

Okay, I admit, I want something cheap and can do all the jobs! Oh, and best if they can create little or no pollution when disposed of. But can I have the cake and eat it?

Those of you who know me or have been reading my blog entries understand that I am a total environmentalist, that I support healing the world and saving the planet by all sorts of means: applying the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), donating to WWF, promoting the importance of saving wildlife animals, condemning the destruction of the rainforests, speaking for the use of solar and wind power, etc. However, there is always a conflict in my mind when it comes to the use of electronic devices, particularly those on one hand helping the environment by reducing deforestations, such as iPad, desktops and laptops, but on the other hand creating pollutions due to the disposal of electronic parts and thus releasing poisonous heavy metal into soil and water. 

And so I hardly ever throw away my old computer or any other electrical devices or parts, I will wait, wait for the Environmental Protection Department's Mobile WEEE Collection Vehicle to come by my home and then pass it to them for recycling. (It will come by your home too! Check out by clicking the above link.) Not very often do they come by, but for me, it is worth the waiting. Where do they take the parts to? Read up here. 

The Environmental Protection Department is now running a having a public consultation on Public Consultation on a New Producer Responsibility Scheme for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). Consultation period runs until April 30 and we can offer our views.

-cum- (prep) -- used to join two nouns, showing that a person or thing does two things or has two purposes; combined with
specifications -- a detailed description of how something should be done, made, etc.
mediocre -- not very good
dispose of sth/sb -- to get rid of someone or something or deal with something so that the matter is finished
condemn -- to criticize something or someone strongly, usually for moral reasons
hardly ever -- almost never