Archive for Case 5: Electronic Waste

More E-Waste

So, continuing my e-waste disposal, I took another old lap-top to the Cobble Hill e-waste recycling event on Saturday – organized with Lower East Side Ecology Center . I also spent (wasted) quite a lot of time the night before trying to make sure any files I needed (or as least thought I might somehow need sometime in the future…) were transferred. Which really meant that I probably just made another back-up of something I already had transferred. Clearly, my digital sorting is about as organized as my paper sorting, which is to say, NOT AT ALL.

And, as a slightly comic footnote: I returned a bag of ‘peripherals’ — all those cables that I don’t know what they connect to — and, I discovered later,  that when the volunteer emptied the bag into one of the enormous cardboard boxes, a piece of cheese, that I had just bought at the Fort Green green market (where I had dropped off compost and textiles) mistakenly ended up there. Oops. Will be a rather odorous surprise when the box is opened.

And, at the same event in Cobble Hill, there was the Shredding Truck! so I rushed home and brought back bags of old medical/work/financial records (now probably all available online if I really need them….) to feed into the giant shredder.

Getting rid of stuff is feeling pretty good!


Response to Team E-Waste Inquiry #3: Digital Sorting

I would say I spend on average very little time actually organizing and sorting my digital data in my various hard drives. At a capacity of 500 or 750 GB a drive, I own 6 drives in total. I wish I could say I keep them well organized, but most of the time I end up dumping files onto whichever drive I have handy, some files are backed up, some not. The things I end up discarding mostly (in order to acquire more room on the drives) are previous versions of video projects, Photoshop files, photos, etc. I do plan on going through each hard drive, backing up each file onto a master drive, and sorting each item into appropriate folders so I can easily access things. BUT the whole idea of the process makes me feel overwhelmed even though it would probably take a few hours to do so.

In terms of digital sorting, I would say I spend at least an two – three hours a day sorting through my various sources of information. Whether it be clicking on links I find worth clicking on to investigate further on Twitter, watching videos or reading articles sent to me by friends or family by email, or going through pages of blogs I frequent to sort out things I find valuable enough to share with others or Bookmark. I often wonder if spending hours on the Internet “researching” is productive or a waste of time.


E-Waste Inquiries

Regarding question 1 & 2 I actually have a joint answer. You might remember from the house hold refuse discussion that I was the member of the class that may have made you cringe (if you’re over due for a tetanus shot) with the plethora of  various metal based objects littered across my floor. One such object was an opened Xbox. During winter break my brother and I became extremely nostalgic for all of the old video games of our childhood. We considered a few ebay auctions for the different systems and the games but quickly realized our lack of storage space would be an issue. Plus we didn’t see a reason to spend a few hundred for a distraction.

We learned we could ‘mod’ an original Xbox and store Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, Playstation and arcade games on it. For the remainder of winter break our bookmarks consisted of various sites that we marked for guides on the conversion process and also sites listing links for the games. Later on there existed a folder on my desktop and that folder eventually became too big and was moved to an external hard drive. While the Xbox is now setup and running we kept all that bookmarks and the filled external hard drive just incase we need to do it again. Unfortunately I messed up a few times and as a result we had to strip three other Xboxs for parts. These machines are still in my room stacked in the corner. They’ll probably stay for a while just incase we need parts. An attempt to save money and space resulted in the consumption of both physical and virtual space.

Sorting unfortunately is sort of a hobby, at least the time I spend on sorting you would think its a hobby. I’ve spent hours sorting and creating folders for my files. The afore mentioned game files were all organized according to system and were broken down into folders and alphabetized. I suppose I subconsciously recognize the messy haphazard nature of my physical existence and sought out order for my digital files.

when there is no such thing as too much information

by cindy

more info = greater productivity

or so at least according to one study:

E-waste recycling and an iPad raffle

We tend to think of waste as simply the end product. We have very often been inconveened by an obsolete electronic. If we try to act as responsible, eco-friendly citizens, we will take that obsolete electronic to the right re-cycling facility. We can only hope that at the end, it will come into use in some shape or form. I might get re-furbished or somehow turned into yet another electronic. Nothing of importance will be wasted.

Two weeks ago, I shlepped my still functioning printer, a few hard drives, a bunch of loose cables and rechargeable ( unfortunately no longer rechargeable ) batteries to the E-Waste recycling event. The event, was brought by the Lower East Side Ecology Center and staged outside Tekserve. I dumped my stuff. Was told that all of it will be 100% recycled, most importantly recycled locally. My waste will not end up oversees like 90% of the country’s e-waste. I felt pretty satisfied and proud of being such a responsible consumer. Then, to my surprise, I was offered to be entered in a iPad raffle. Ha, the irony. I could win yet another electronic that will rather soon be obsolete and i might find myself back at the re-cycling table. And so the cycle of constant acquisition and disposal continues.


Team E-Waste Inquiry #3: Digital Sorting

The digital information stream is growing by zettabytes annually.  From the formal to the informal, from the productive to the wasting, data surrounds us at all times and requires that we engage in a constant process of sorting the valuable from the waste.  Digital sorting involves mechanical processes such as saving, deleting, searching, filing, archiving and tagging as well as mental processes of consciously attending to and ignoring.  In some instances the process of sorting is the primary engagement mechanic behind consumption (what email to read, what channel to watch, etc.)

 How do you sort and discard digital information?  How much time to you spend sorting relative to consumption?

e-greenwashing, or right actions?

by cindy

google announces that it plans to invest $100m in a wind farm in oregon.

this follows an investment a couple of weeks ago in a solar energy venture:;txt

both of these possibly to offset at some measure the carbon footprint of its ginormous server farm in the dalles, OR.