The Flaming Vegan

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Why is Technology Bad for the Environment?
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Why is Technology Bad for the Environment?

My last post was about how large technology corporations create nuclear dangers for the environment, animals, wildlife in general, and especially, all humans living near the plants that were built. However, this is not the only way technology has had a negative impact, and I’m not just talking about transportation, even though this is still the most pollution-creating one yet. For example, remember how computers were invented and mainstreamed with the purpose of reducing the use of paper?

With forest clear-cutting on the rise and at the point of being a global crisis, we can’t say that they were really used with that goal in mind. Another perfect example is how we are now manufacturing nature by creating super-plants that can withstand extremely powerful chemical pesticides and herbicides which, with time, destroy the land, the water ,and pollute the air we breathe. Now, what other areas of technology have made us (un)willingly contaminate the planet?

First, let’s take a look at what the United Nations Environment Program, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics has mentioned on the subject:

1- Lost of habitat: land clearance for either raw material or space

2- Disruption of a given habitat through building of pipelines, which disturb animal migration

3- Hazardous waste, such as spills, dumping, and acidification

4- Added greenhouse gas emissions through manufacturing and transportation of goods

5- Depletion of the ozone layer by using certain types of chemicals in the manufacturing process or in the product per se

6- Unsustainable use of a raw material

7- Affecting living resources by consuming or destroying the plant and animal life

8- Digging for resources, such as mines or oil, which lead to water contamination

9- Using land that could serve for other purposes, such as farming or animal habitat

As you can see, there are quite a lot of variables in this equation. The use of technology is vast, to say the least, so one can easily say that it will always have an impact on wildlife and the environment in general. Just fabricating them uses resources. Therefore, even if they are made with natural products and the corporation avoided hazardous chemicals as much as possible, the product you purchased still leaves a footprint.

However, using resources is not the main problem. What seems to be the issue today is our over dependance on technological devices that are often not truly necessary, or that we consume much more quickly or more often than we need. For instance, how many people have an oven, a microwave, a toaster AND a toaster oven? No one really needs all four of these, and most could do very well with only two of them. Or, if you plan on using all four, plan on keeping them for a very long time. Buy quality that will last and won’t need to be replaced every three years.

Technology is the reason why society today is oriented towards mass consumption of goods. Cell phones, especially smart phones, are obsolete after only one year, and they almost always end up in landfills. Those who are conscious of the fact that these devices can be harmful keep accumulating them, but have a very difficult time finding the location to bring them to for proper recycling or finding someone who actually wants to have them (even for free!). Pawn shops no longer accept laptop computers that are more than a year old, and good luck finding one that will take in your PC.

All of these wonderful gadgets lead to spoiled and at times lazy people. How many depend on disposable coffee cups from their favourite restaurants instead of purchasing a travel mug and washing it themselves when they empty it at work? How many no longer want to wait the extra two minutes to heat their soup on the stove instead of the microwave? Or, to take things even further, how many are willing to wash their clothes by hand, even the few garments they own that have ‘hand-wash only’ on the tag? It’s actually not that hard.

Remember, a washing machine only just ‘swooshes’ your clothes around for about twenty minutes. Putting your clothes in a bucket (immediately after taking the item off if you dropped something on it that could eventually stain it) with a bit of detergent and letting it soak for a few hours or overnight, and then hanging the clothing outside during warm weather (or over the bathtub during cold weather) is a great way to save energy. Many Colombians, even if they own a washing machine, will still only put their large items, such as bedsheets, in the washer, and they dry everything outside.

Furthermore, some will also say that our disconnect with nature, due to this overuse of technology, is only just increasing from year to year.  We lost touch with the very place we are from: the Earth.  We forget that we need it, and should be taking care of it. If we abuse it, we will eventually lose our right to live here.

 

 

 

 

Please let me know your thougths.

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Leave a Comment

  1. No Name
    This is very informative and you are always so deep into this one. I think you should go and work for green peace this is your calling. Well written and very nice. voted
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    1. SnakeWitch
      I tried for a position a few years ago but didn't get it. And here in Colombia, Greenpeace isn't very big yet.
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  2. Theophile
    Theophile
    I agree with my Aunt you have missed your calling. voted
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    1. SnakeWitch
      Thanks!
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  3. Terry McGee
    I do agree a job in environment control and safety would be good for you. voted
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    1. SnakeWitch
      Thanks!
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  4. Veganara
    Veganara
    Voted. This is a great, thought-provoking blog as ever. You are so right, all of these gadgets just make us lazier and lazier! I am glad to say I don't have that many of them really: for example, I only have a toaster and an oven, no microwave! I really hate this built-in obsolescence thing with technology - when I buy something new, the LAST thing I want is to have to keep replacing it every year or two! Such a wasteful world we live in....Check out my latest blog here, The Essential Aid for The Vegan Voyager, I think you will find that of interest! Cheers! :-)
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    1. SnakeWitch
      Yes, the last thing some of us want is to replace it every five years, but what usually happens is that it breaks down because it's made to last only a certain time. **sigh**
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  5. kristo
    kristo
    This is a great blog! I have been thinking about these issues lately as my laptop is getting old (5 years, which isn't even old) and I will have to replace it soon because it will be cheaper. How insane is that!? I have been having nightmares about returning to Canada over the last few months. The amount of consumption and disposal because of inexpensive stores like costco which feeds the suburban home haunts my dreams. SOOOO much disconnect from the land when you can buy a bbq, lemons, lettuce in a clear box, a piano, and a winter coat all in the same place. :(
    Log in to reply.
    1. SnakeWitch
      Oh, you're going back home soon? I'm not ready to go back yet. As for the laptop, I understand - five years is reasonnable for needing to replace it. It's not like furniture that you can keep for a generation. If you want to keep it until you get back to Canada, you can try to look up some recycling spots, or you may even be able to sell it (cheap, but hey, better than chucking it in the garbage) or even give it to someone who is poor while you're still in Asia. I've been boycotting Costco for years, partially due to what you're saying, and partially because of the amount of space needed for each store. It's huge! They use up all that land which is often needed for farming. Hey, my next article could be about urban sprawling... !!! You just gave me the idea!Thanks for the vote!
      Log in to reply.
      1. Veganara
        Veganara
        People often give me ideas for articles with their comments too Annie! I am sure you will approve of my latest recipe, because I was using up leftovers, so avoiding wastage!! The result was Simple Oven-Baked Potato Croquettes, please check it out! :-)
        Log in to reply.
  6. Bernice
    It would be nice if one person could save the world from all this mess. You are on the right track and hope you will continue and find a way to be involved in this movement then maybe we could all sleep better. Voted
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  7. Conroy
    One day everyone will have to wake up before it is too late. I hope it is sooner than later on this one. I sure would love to see my grandchildren grow up and have a good life like we use to have before all this came about. A greener world would be wonderful. Voted
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  8. PaulSmith
    I find this post very informative, and think that technology is really bad for the environment! Also, I was capable to discover one more article on this topic - here it is http://bigessaywriter.com/blog/affect-of-technologies-on-our-environment!
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