As you have probably heard, The Story of Electronics is out!  Narrated by Annie Leonard, and made by the fine folks who brought us the incredibly popular Story of Stuff video, the sequel does a great job of highlighting the all too common life cycle of many of our electronics, like computers, cell phones, and televisions. Thankfully, The Story of Electronics also sheds light on many of the hidden consequences of our voracious electronics appetite: safety of workers, recyclers, and the environment.

The Story of Electronics shows that most of our electronics are “designed for the dump” rather than for a long life, reuse, and recycling. Annie encourages consumers to be aware of the dangers associated with their electronic purchases and demand extended producer responsibility from the high-tech companies and responsible producer takeback programs by our policy makers!

Here in Oregon, we already have a state producer takeback law, requiring all manufacturers, like Dell and HP, who want to sell to Oregon consumers, to take back consumer electronics when they reach the end of their life cycle. So far, 23 states have passed laws mandating some kind of e-waste recycling program, and seven more have introduced laws in 2010. However, recycling rates are still low – a fact that could be partly attributed to the disposable culture (i.e. “Design for the Dump” = selling lots of stuff) aggravated by the electronics industry’s practices.

So check out the video and help change this destructive culture by sharing it with your friends and family on Facebook, via e-mail, and on your other social networking sites. Also, see The Story of Electronics and the Electronics Takeback Coalition for ways to do more.

Lauren Ice
ELAW Office Manager