Posts Tagged ‘e-waste’

landscapes of extraction and e-waste recycling

January 4, 2011

Right on the heels of last night’s post about Manufactured Landscapes comes this, from Manhattan User’s Guide:

J Henry Fairs‘ extraordinary, consumptively beautiful, sickening photos of our ailing planet are gathered in a new book The Day After Tomorrow: Images of Our Earth in Crisis, released later this month. An exhibition of the photos, Landscapes of Extraction: The Collateral Damage of the Fossil Fuels Industries, will be at Cooper Union’s Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery starting January 20th.

I know I’ll be checking that out. It runs January 20 – February 26, 2011.

And to help reduce the need for extracting rare earth metals and other materials we scar the planet for, here are some opportunities for recycling your old electronics instead of kicking them to the curb (via Lower East Side Ecology Center, be sure to check their site for more details):

January 8, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer(English) Flyer(Spanish) Directions
East 163 Street, between Southern Boulevard and Bruckner Boulevard, Bronx, NY

January 8, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Bowling Green Park east side, Broadway at Beaver Street, New York, NY

January 9, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Queens Botanical Garden, parking lot entrance on Crommelin Street, Queens, NY

January 15, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Tekserve, 119 West 23rd Street, New York, NY

January 16, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Prospect Park West and 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY

January 22, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer(English) Flyer(Spanish) Directions
Ring Garden, Riverside Drive between Dyckman Street and Seaman Avenue, New York, NY

January 22, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Habana Outpost, Fulton Street b/w South Portland Avenue and South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY

January 23, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street between First and Second Avenues, New York, NY

January 23, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm Flyer Directions
West 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, New York, NY

If you’re not in NYC, check out Earth911 for e-waste recycling near you.

every thing you own was made by human hands

January 4, 2011

Or at least parts of it were and then they were assembled, packaged, transported, and sold by humans. And every thing you (and I) have in your possession required energy – extracted and refined fossil fuels which require energy – to extract, manufacture, and transport it. Likely, part if not all of these things were made in China. And likely, part if not all of these things will end up back in China in the form of waste to be taken apart by human hands. And the ships that transported them to and from their new home and eventual grave were made in China by humans. And those ships go to die in Bangladesh where they are disassembled by human hands (and often by barefoot men between the ages of 18 and twenty something).

This monotonously unfolding chain of events is the subject of the documentary Manufactured Landscapes, which I finally just watched (it had been on my list for a couple of years). It may sound boring, but it is visually stunning and truly eye-opening. With minimal dialogue, the film shows us the work of Edward Burtynsky who has been photographing landscapes since the 80s. In a sense, the film is a culmination of his work as he delved deeper from extraction of earth materials all the way to the end of the line for the products and ships created with them. Of course, through this culmination we see the real impact of these activities.

The film sure got the wheels in my brain turning about this world we’ve manufactured. We’ve not only physically changed the way the landscape looks, we’ve changed the quality of the air, water, and soil. It’s the type of film that motivates me to reconnect with nature, to stop supporting a destructive economy, and to keep talking about what we need to do to move humankind in a more positive direction. I hope you’ll get a chance to check it out.

In the meantime, here is Edward Burtynsky’s TED talk about the film and the trailer.

designed for the dump

November 11, 2010

If you haven’t checked out the latest installment of the “Story of…” series, it’s worth a look & listen. It’s about the lifecycle of our electronics. All of the TVs, cell phones, game consoles, laptops that we buy and eventually kick to the curb are seriously toxic to produce and dispose of. Do we really need a new cell phone every two years like the phone companies like to push? Do we really need that fancy new laptop when we can upgrade ours with a new hard-drive? Watch the video, and then decide.

The Story of Stuff home page