Advancements in communications technology make it easier than ever for the globetrotting traveler to stay connected and keep in touch. However, the shortening product lifecycles of the latest cell phones, PDAs, and notebook computers translate directly into increasing amounts of obsolete electronics piling up in a landfill near you.
The editor's new cellphone is not only slick and very orange - it's also full of lead and mercury. Will recycling it at the end of its useful life ensure that such toxins won't leach into the environment?
The consequences aren't pretty. So-called electronic waste or e-waste - which features copious amounts of notorious contaminants such as lead, mercury, and beryllium - is the scourge of the Information Age. Dumped e-waste becomes nothing less than a slow-release conglomeration of toxins and carcinogens, affecting both human and environmental health.
In response, many Western jurisdictions have stepped up efforts to encourage the recycling of e-waste. Although this seems to be a positive development, there is a dark side, too.
Click here, for the full story at ethicaltraveler.org.
Felix, when not dating married women or gambling at the dogtrack, writes for the Ethical Traveler news team. Ethical Traveler is a project of the California-based Earth Island Institute.