poisons, addictions, and electronics
" ... the actions and habits of America's consumers threaten to flood the world with toxins, just as surely as do the misguided priorities of multinational corporations. Now more than ever, end-users of new technology need to pursue higher levels of technological literacy in order to negotiate the complex interactions among technology, society, and the environment."
-Giles Slade "Made to Break"
Lots of electronics are made with nasty chemicals, heavy metals, and toxic plastics that when burned release poisonous noxiousness and when buried leach poisonous shit into the groundwater - a fair amount of it is nasty stuff that doesn't break down.
While they are made to last usually for about 5 years. We the people tend to buy new stuff, more frequently. Much more frequenstly. We buy new stuff before our old stuff breaks because we want a new design or color or new features. And what happens to the old stuff? If not burned or buried, given away, stored, reused as a paperweight, or resold ... a decent amount of it gets exported to foreign countries where very very poor people destroy their health and their local environment melting stuff down to extract metals for resale.
Greenpeace is particularly concerned about Apple computer products which are apparently among the worst with respect to being made with very nasty and toxic compounds and with no interest in reducing or replacing that which is bad.
wikipedia on e-waste