We ran out of hard drive space while making our documentary, and, you guessed it, we had to buy a new hard drive. Two actually, since we double back up everything having learned the hard way that electronics are not infallible. We’ve had two hard drives fail on us in the past (Western Digital in case you were wondering what the brand names was – and I don’t mind saying that we don’t recommend them).
Anyhoo, Grant and I split it 50 50, so I guess I have a single hard drive on my list of “things I bought in my consumer free year”. And yes, I see the irony in buying stuff to make a movie about not buying stuff, but I think we’ve been doing ok thus far.
The hard drives did come in plastic, but it was a very small package which is a lot more than I can say for some computer accessories like jump drives. Listen to me, justifying plastic packaging. That wasn’t my intent at all, but e-waste truly is a serious problem, and sometimes I’m not sure I can see a solution.
I’m computer savvy enough to know how to use one, but not how to fix one. When my electronics die, I dutifully recycle them, but there has been so much in the news lately about toxic cities overseas where children pick apart components with their bare hands that I’m beginning to wonder if I’m better off storing them under my bed.
You could call us techno-hippies, meaning that we pretend that we are into nature and recycling and growing veggies and riding our bicycles, but then we absolutely have to have all the latest electronics including, count ’em, 5 working computers for a household of 3. Not to mention cameras (video and still), ipods, GPS units, cell phones, monitors, TVs, etc, etc.
And the unfortunate thing is that, although there are “better alternatives” for clothing and food, most electronics seem to be built on the same premise – cheaper is better. As a serious bargain hunter, I know this is true, but the question is, how do we move beyond this? How do we move “greener” electronics beyond a greenwashing trend and into something viable to the entire market? How do we get the point where buying a new hard drive is good for the environment.
Ok, maybe that’s a little fanciful. . . .but it’s a good idea isn’t it?