GREEN GADGET GURUS GATHER
Don Willmott , Forecast Earth Correspondent
There's nothing like a room full of smart people to get tough problems solved faster. On Friday, February 1, hundreds of green thinkers will assemble in New York at the Greener Gadgets Conference to hash out issues of design, resource consumption, and recycling. Representatives from big electronics manufacturers such as Nokia, Sony, and Hewlett-Packard will be on hand to explainÂ—and perhaps defendÂ—their e-initiatives, and a mix of scientists, marketers, and designers will all weigh in with their thoughts. It should be fascinating.
Note that the keynote speaker will be Chris Jordan, a noted photographer who has gained fame for his astonishing large-scale images of mountains of e-waste, everything from cell phones to shipping containers. Click through his slide show, and you'll be humbled. As he puts it, "The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits. As an American consumer myself, I am in no position to finger wag; but I do know that when we reflect on a difficult question in the absence of an answer, our attention can turn inward, and in that space may exist the possibility of some evolution of thought or action. So my hope is that these photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry. It may not be the most comfortable terrain, but I have heard it said that in risking self-awareness, at least we know that we are awake." Wow.
Also on hand at the conference will be ReCellluar, who will be standing by to collect old cell phones for recycling. Visit their site for a quick ZIP Code-based way to search for a cell phone donation/recycling site near you. After looking at Jordan's photos, you'll definitely be motivated to clear out that junk drawer.
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