On 05/07/10 18:43, Renato wrote:
This is something that's bothered me for some time - pretty much any
piece of electronic hardware you use contains minerals which have been
dug out of a big hole in the ground somewhere, usually in a poor country
and often without respecting the rights of local people and their
environment. With some products you can buy fair trade in the hope that
this is making some difference at least to the unfair trade practices
that are the root of the problem, but there's no such thing as fair
trade usb sticks.
Seeing as I like computers, I've found this quite painful over the years
- every now and again I hear of another story of people being forced off
their land or having to live in a polluted environment, and if I'm going
to think honestly about it, there's no escaping the fact that the things
I buy are part of what's causing these problems.
On a personal level the only answer I've come up with is to think before
I buy something whether it's something I'll actually use, and try to
stick with old hardware as long as possible (e.g. I still use a
non-internet mobile phone). Also to give stuff away when I don't need it
rather than throw it away.
On a wider level I'm not sure what the answer is, but publicising the
issue and calling companies to account for their responsibility in the
worst cases of social and environmental abuse can only help. So I think
it's ok to post stuff like this every now and again.
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