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E-waste

— Environment

A green process for extracting gold

A research team at the University of Saskatchewan has found what may be an inexpensive and environmentally-friendly way of recycling gold from jewelry and electronics. Using a solution of what is essentially reusable table vinegar, the team has shown that for CAD$66 (about US$47) it can produce one kilogram (2.2 lb) of gold with 100 liters (26 gal) of reusable waste water – this is as compared to current methods that can cost over CAD$1,500 (US$1,070) and create 5,000 liters (1,321 gal) of toxic, non-reusable waste.

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— Environment

Interview: Environmental artist Chris Jordan talks sustainability

Around the world there are hundreds of millions of discarded mobile phones lying around in drawers and boxes, displaced by the bigger screen or better camera of the latest version. But truth be told, even if we were talking about hundreds of billions it would be unlikely to elicit a much different response, because ridiculously big numbers are ridiculously big numbers, right? Seattle-based photographer and activist Chris Jordan is on a mission to make these measures of consumerism manifest through visual art and, as he explained to Gizmag, bridge the disconnect between our mass consumption and its largely invisible consequences. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Phonebloks concept imagines a modular smartphone

We live in a throwaway society, where products often aren't made to last long, and generally aren't easily fixable. Smartphones are a case in point, with the average handset being replaced by its owner within two years. And when that happens, the whole thing is trashed intact and replaced with another, slightly better, model. With the Phonebloks concept, Dave Hakkens plans to change this short-term way of thinking about gadgets. Read More
— Environment

"Pass IT On For Good" USB card helps repurpose old computers

What should you do with your old computer? Chances are that no one will want to buy it, but you don’t want to just throw it away – especially with e-waste being such a huge environmental concern. Recycling or donating are possibilities, but how do you know that all of your personal information is really deleted from its hard drive? Well, that’s where the Pass IT On For Good project comes in. It supplies you with a USB card that deletes all the personal content on your computer, installs educational software, and then instructs you on how to donate it for use in schools in developing nations. Read More

Eco-friendly circuit board releases its electronics when exposed to hot water

As our smartphones and computers continue to become obsolete and get discarded, the environmental problem of electronic waste gets worse. Needless to say, the greater the number of electronic components that can be reclaimed and reused, the better. That’s why scientists from the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have developed a printed circuit board that falls apart when immersed in hot water. Read More
— Environment

Using e-waste to create educational toys, with ThinkerToys

Electronic waste is a huge global problem, and its often devastating impact on our environment is not going to lessen any time soon – in fact, it's predicted to get worse. Faced with a panorama of mountainous e-waste when passing an immense landfill site in suburban Phnom Penh, Cambodia and seeing young children working there instead of going to school, a researcher at Keio-NUS CUTE Center and Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore came up with a novel idea to help tackle both issues. His plan involves creating simple and cheap-to-produce edutainment kit modules that could be shipped out to those unfortunate areas of the world where e-waste is transported for disposal, where they would be paired up with discarded but functional tech such as PS/2 keyboards and mice, speakers and old CRT monitors. Read More
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