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In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!

May

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May and I enjoying some sunshine
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Our Throw-Away Society

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Well, Tuesday night has arrived.  Kyle is off for the evening at a class he's taking towards his Masters Degree.  I usually use this night to get caught up on house-work; dishes, laundry, etc etc.  But tonight I'm not getting much work done.  I've been fighting a cold for the past two weeks so I resolved to pay the bills, read up about beekeeping, finish the transfer paperwork for our goats, and work on today's blog post.  Shortly after arriving home I came to the realization that something was strangely amiss with my laptop. 

It had been plugged in all day but the battery indicator was showing as nearly empty.  Sure enough, when I unplugged the darned thing it immediately shut off and would not start back up again until I re-attached the power cable.  Looking online at replacement batteries that were listed at a minimum of $80 I was immediately shocked and irritated by the company who makes these things as it is only a couple years old.  This of course brings me to my rant for the evening- our throw-away society.

Most electronic devices nowadays are only meant to last for about two years.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2005 about 5.3 billion pounds of ewaste was disposed of in landfills.  The major trouble with throwing away all these little things is most contain quantities of lead and arsenic which are well-known carcinogens.  When these are buried in landfills the chemicals leach into the ground and eventually join with the groundwater, where it is consumed by billions of people.

Of course, with the way the world is now, a person can't seem to manage without a cell phone or a computer.  There is probably nothing we can really do about that (I'll most certainly fork over the $80 or $100 for a new battery for my laptop) but we certainly can make an effort to be sure the replaced item makes it to a proper recylcing facility.

You can find some information about recycling your old cellphones and computers at the Environmental Protection Agency's website or even at your local recycling center.

2 comments

  1. Deborah Says:
  2. You have excellent timing on this post, as our four-year-old refrigerator is currently in the shop for repairs. What is frustrating is that we just replaced our main kitchen refrigerator, which was only five years old. We repaired it last year, and when it went on the blink again, we decided it was ridiculous to keep fixing it. It's bad enough when little things go out after a couple years, but refrigerators? We've never replaced a refrigerator in our lives before this! I thought they were supposed to last something like 20 years.

     
  3. Melissa Says:
  4. Oh I feel your pain Deborah! Kyle and I bought a refrigerator this past spring and after a few months it just kept breaking!! We finally got a new one from the store. We didn't have to dispose of the old fridge ourselves...the store took it back for us...but I wonder what they do with that kind of stuff.