The Secret Earth Killers

There are numerous products that we as humans use that severely hurt the earth. Things like plastics never break down and will forever be either in our oceans harming animals or be buried in our soil that will eventually leak into the ground water. One product that came out only a few years ago but people rely on heavily are cellphones. While cell phones may be extremely helpful in terms of communication and entertainment. However, the procurement and disposal of cellphones are very detrimental to the earth. And as humans, we must do whatever needed to ensure that we will have the years for a long time.

Cellphones start from just some plastic, metals, batteries, and glass. However, the process in which is harmful to the earth. In order to make the plastics needed to make the cellphones. Crude oils are drilled out from the earth as well as natural gases. This is taking the limited natural resources that humans have. After the materials are extracted, they are taken to a facility where they are then melted and cooled. This process of melting cooling the materials requires electricity which requires for the facility to burn fossil fuels as well as  release fumes from the melting. The product made from the melting and cooling (plastic) is used to made the cellphones. As for the metals, the necessary metals needed for the phone are mined from the earth and made into things like the motherboard and chips. This is harmful to the earth because again it is taking from the small amount of natural resources that the earth has left. The batteries are made from a number of different metals , lead, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion, and lithium ion polymer. These like the metals are mined from the earth which again take from the limited natural resources the earth has to offer. All of these materials are shipped to third world countries where the are assembled then shipped around the earth. Throughout this whole process, fossil fuels are being used to power the factories in which the process is happening in. The fossil fuels are also being used to fuel the different modes of transportation that the products go onto to get shipped around the earth. The simple production of cell phones are harmful but isn’t as bad as the disposal of them.  

Most people when they feel is time to get a new phone either take it to their provider who then recycle them or recycle them themselves. But what happens to cellphones that are recycled? Well some of them get refurbished and get sold again or some of the pieces are taken out and used in other phones. But a large majority of them get taken to e-waste piles. E-waste piles are piles of electronics located in third world countries like Ghana, India, China, and Delhi. The electronics such as cellphones in these e-waste piles are broken broken up by children by either smashing them, burning them, or melting them. They do this in order to extract the pieces of gold, copper, and silver inside of the cell phones. The destruction of the cell phones causes the toxins that are inside of the phone to be released into the air and ground that then either pollute the air we breathe or the water we drink. The toxins released from the cell phones can also be inhaled and kill the person around them. So many of the children and women who are dismantling these phones for the scraps of metal are actually killing themselves as well as releasing these horrible toxins into our water and air.

In conclusion, we can all agree that we want the earth to last for a long time. We can do that by keeping our old phones. Instead of upgrading our phones every year we can keep them until they break. And even if they do break we should get them fixed or put that old phone somewhere like in a drawer instead of “recycling” it. We could donate our old phones to people who are in need of a phone. Whatever we do, we as humankind need to reduce our carbon footprint and make earth a cleaner place for our great grandkids and their great grandkids and so on. The little things that we do now will make an impact later on in the future.  

 

Sources:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-02-16/where-your-iphone-goes-to-die

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/opinion/sunday/where-do-old-cellphones-go-to-die.html?_r=0

 

Image result for cell phone e waste pile

E waste piles source

 

3 Comments

    • iqraabdi

      Oh my god it’s so great to find someone else who also likes kpop. My bias in BTS is Jhope but I also have a soft spot for Jin. Who’s your bias? What songs are your favorite?

  1. sxnoor

    Hey Iqra!! I really enjoyed reading this post, as I think it important we are aware of what is happening to our Earth – and how we are the one’s hurting it. Stay woke.

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