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Making the Tablet PC Eco-Friendly

When Apple pioneered the mass production of Making the Tablet PC tablet computers with the iPad, not everyone was persuaded that the gadget filled a need. ECO-FRIENDLY Consumers already had laptops, desktops, and smartphones. Now, millions of iPads and other tablets have been sold, and there is indeed a healthy demand for the tablet. PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE People justify buying a tablet because they claim they can get rid of their smartphones, netbooks, and laptops. With the tablet's multi- tasking abilities, it can function as all of these gadgets. However, sales for these other gadgets continue to rise. In reality, people do get rid of their smartphones, netbooks and laptops but eventually replace them with newer versions instead of replacing them with a tablet. Obsolete in: Electronics companies design their products with a certain lifespan wherein the product is expected to work at its best or maintain compatibility with current systems within that time frame. 05 : 24 : 36 With this strategy, companies rake in more profits as people come to think of their gadgets as replaceable objects, only good for a few months and eventually replaced by the next improved version. IMPACT OF PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE Tablet manufacturers inadvertently create demand for products that is The carbon dioxide emissions released in the production of one iPad equals that of a car that has been driven for 515 bad for both the environment and human health from the beginning to the end of each product's cycle. As the demand and subsequent sales of tablet PCs increase every year, the bottom line in terms of envi- ronmental impact is that there is also an increase in the number of miles. discarded tablets ending up in the garbage. Tablets have an impact on the environment the moment they are manufac- tured. The main environment hazards come in the form of emissions released into the air or into wastewater. 80% of discarded tablets end up in landfills. Tablet components contain the toxic and poisonous materials found inside these gadgets such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, Toxins from these substances leak from the gadgets into landfills, and seep into the water supply and eventually, the food and mercury chain. The wastewater released during the iPad's manufacturing process flows into rivers and the ocean, disrupting the fragile ecosystems. These carcinogenic substances contaminate the groundwater, infusing poison into food and water supplies, eventually causing WHAT IS E-WASTE? illnesses. After you have purchased the latest tablet or smartphone, chances are none of your attention will fall on the old one that In the US alone, people throw out 130,000 COMPUTERS and 350,000 CELL PHONES every day. Globally, a total of 50 MILLION METRIC TONS of e-waste are produced annually. you have just replaced. The thing is, your old gadget does not magically disappear or take care of itself. Once an old electronic product gets tossed in the trash, it becomes what is known as electronic waste. With the rapid advances in technology, better and cheaper versions of these products are introduced and subse- quently replaced and thrown away each year. Developing countries like China and India will also increase production of e-waste more than ten times in the next ten years. Tablet manufacturers claim that by virtue of its functions, they are already reducing pollution caused by consumers. However, tablets have only changed the type of waste being produced. Thus, gadget manufacturers are still accountable for the electronic waste they create. REDUCING TOXIC MATERIALS PVC & BFR (brominated flame retardants) have also been removed from the components that make up the iPad. The iPad are now shipped with less packag- ing, thereby reducing carbon emissions not just during manufacturing, but also during the shipping Having the largest market share, and therefore being a major contributor to the world's growing piles of e-waste, Apple has taken several environmentally-friendly initiatives starting with stage. how the iPad is designed. The battery is improved so that it uses less power and lasts longer on a single charge. The display glass of the iPad is now arsenic-free and recyclable. The company shifted from using LCD screens to LED-backlit displays. LED consume less power, have a longer life and do not contain mercury. EASY & EFFECTIVE RECYCLING PROGRAMS Here are several companies and their efforts in decreasing the environmental impact of the products they manufacture or sell: DELL Since 2004, Dell has been offering free recycling, where customers just have to arrange online for their old gadgets to be shipped back. The company has partnered with office supplies giant, Staples, for an in-store recycling program. Dell also partnered with environ- mental audit firms to confirm whether their recycling partners are really doing their jobs. SAMSUNG Samsung has been implementing the Samsung Recycling Direct program, directly partnering with take-back and recycling companies that practice proper recycling procedures. According to its website, the program has, as of July 2012, collected close to 192 M Ibs of electronic waste. SONY Sony has announced that it will only work with recycling companies that do not export their e-waste. acer ASUS Acer has a recycling program partnered with Best Buy, as well as a mail-back program for old technology. The company has a dedicated website inform- ing device owners of the availability of the recycling program in their area. Asus has partnered with Metech Recycling in asking owners to mail in their gadgets for recycling. They send these Asus device owners a container and a shipping label, making the process free. Apple claims that they have implemented several recycling programs in 95% of the countries where their products are being sold. Basically, it involves the customer sending their old gadget back to the company and receiving an Apple gift card in return. PRO-GREEN Environmental groups have challenged tablet manufacturers to not just stick with current recycling programs but to also improve them. To be more proactive, electronics manufacturers are encouraged to partner with the government and CONSERVE NATURE! other institutions where the waste is exported and to provide equipment and facilities to make the process safer for workers. INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS The pace at which technology is advancing gets faster each year, and nothing illustrates this more than the shrinking period of time from when a gadget is launched to when its upgrade is announced. As a result, people with the desire and cash for these products are buying and throwing away more gadgets each year. The result of such seemingly mindless consumption of electronic gadgets is the growing piles of e-waste all over the world, harming the environment and human health. Obviously, people cannot be forced to stop buying electronics. However, they can be persuaded to be more responsible con- sumers. REDUCE Reducing consumption means less demand, and therefore a reduced need to manufacture things. When it comes to consumer electronics such as tablets and smartphones, people can put this into practice by buying every other model instead of upgrading every time a new model comes out, especially if their current device still works perfectly. Consumers must ask themselves if a new upgrade is essential or if what they have still suffices.To be more environmentally conscious, con- sumers should also buy with durability in mind. Taking proper care of a gadget to extend its life is also a good step in the "reduce" phase. REUSE For tech geeks and fanatics who find that the desire for the latest and hottest tablet cannot be denied, there are still options that will make their purchases less guilt inducing. Those with children or younger siblings could pass on their used devices as gifts. Another option would be to donate their old gadgets to underprivileged students who need these devices but cannot afford them. RECYCLE What about tablets, smartphones, and laptops that are already broken and cannot be sold? One cannot just simply throw them in the recy- cling bin. Local waste facilities do not have the capacity to recycle e-waste, and the electronics might just end up in the mounting heaps of trash in landfills. To recycle, tablet owners can start with the gadget manufacturer and see if it offers free recycling. Sony, HP, Dell and Apple are just some of the manufacturers that already have recycling programs in place. However, not all manufacturers accept broken products. The next step would be to find a recycler, though not all recyclers follow environmental guidelines. For a list of recyclers recommended by environmental groups, the Environmental Protection Agency and the website are good places to start. Some online buyers also purchase gadgets that are not functioning. Most of these companies salvage parts from broken tablets that can still be reused when repairing damaged units. Tablet PCs are set to become a major technological innovation that people will continuously subscribe to in coming years. With the popularity of tablet PCs, the amount of waste products related to them will also increase. It is encouraging to see that companies have taken concrete steps in reducing the adverse environmental impact their products may cause. Now, it is time for individual consumers to step up and take an active role in making sure their mobile devices, especially tablet PCs, do not contribute to the detriment of the environment. f Like Us eCycle Best 84 Coney Island Drive Sparks, NV 89431 y Follow Us

Making the Tablet PC Eco-Friendly

shared by mhoyzess on Jun 25
This infographics shows how electronic companies can make their tablets eco-friendly and how consumers can recycle them.


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