Design for the Dump: Annie Leonard's 'The Story of Electronics'

She's done it again. Annie Leonard, creator of "The Story of Stuff" and "The Story of Bottled Water" (among other 'Stories') has a great new short film about "The Story of Electronics." Designing for the dump, she says is the "key strategy of the companies that make our electronics." The more crap we have to throw away because it breaks or we have to upgrade, the more crap they can sell us.

Pretty simple strategy, but that means that designers of electronics are building products that are "hard to upgrade, easy to break and impractical to repair," and Leonard points out it's usually cheaper to buy a new DVD player than to try to get a broken one repaired. And "that's not just a pain in the wallet -- they're causing a global toxic emergency," she says.

The film shows the life-cycle of our electronics, which usually includes a fair bit of toxins on the input side, much of which will end up leaching out when those electronics are tossed. And old TV she says, contains 5 pounds of lead.

Instead she advises that we build products that are longer lasting, less toxic and more recyclable and we protect and strengthen take back laws and stop shipping our e-waste to developing countries. Check out the video below to see "The Story of Electronics" and learn what we can do to cut down our e-waste and design better products.

AlterNet / By Tara Lohan

Posted at November 10, 2010, 8:45am

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