This week at TreeHugger: In the first of the recurring 'Ask the EcoGeek' column, reader Rob wonders "Is it possible to recycle old CDs or DVDs?" Oh, Rob, is it ever....The floppy disk was the medium of choice for on-the-go computer storage during the '80s and '90s, but they are now relegated to landfill, and cost dollars to dispose of correctly. What to do? Build crap with 'em.
According to a new report, people and machines may soon be competing for resources; global mobile phone use will top 3.25 billion users in 2007, mostly due to demand from China, India and Africa, leaving about half the world's population with a cellphone. Lastly, in this week's sign that the apocalypse is upon us, Nintendo has gone green. Or so they would have us believe.
This week, we unveil a new recurring column: Ask the EcoGeek. Reader Rob says, "Dear EcoGeek, Is it possible to recycle old CDs or DVDs?" The perpetual scourge of EcoGeekiness is obsolescence, so, thankfully, there are several ways to go about it, though none are quite as easy as curbside pickup. It does, however, include microwaving, miniature hover-craft and burning (no, not that kind). It also turns out that there are several places that can take that bulk of used electronic media gathering dust in your closet off your hands.
The floppy disk—medium of choice for many a saved book report and game of Lemmings—may have been hot stuff in the 1980s and '90s, but they're now relegated to landfill, and cost dollars to dispose of correctly. What to do? Why not do what any good gadgeteer would do, and build something out of it! Try your hand at making a bag; if that's too much, get some crafty geekery for your home office with the functional (but still fun) floppy disk pen holder. Turns out that recycling them using floppy disk geekery is more fun than storing a whopping two gigabytes of info on them.
We flesh and blood planet dwellers (humans) may soon be competing for resources with electronic machines (computers). A recent report just drives this home, noting that global mobile phone use will top 3.25 billion users in 2007, mostly due to demand from China, India and Africa. That's about half the world's population with a cellphone. The similarities between cellphones and babies are many. They both require you to keep them powered continuously. They both get born; cellphones at about 1000 phones a minute, based on subscriptions and babies at about 180 per minute, over five times more slowly. Strangely, cellphones are also like babies in that you can have more than one. In fact, over 30 countries already have a saturation rate of over 100 percent, meaning there are more cellphones than people in these countries. Finally, they both seem pretty indispensable; a recent British survey suggested that one third of those polled wouldn't give up their phone for a million pounds. Let's hope they say that about their kids.
After leading the video game industry in innovation with its DS handheld and Wii console, the house of Mario is now vying to burnish its green credentials with a series of environmental policies it recently unveiled. So how green are we talking about? In Nintendo's own words: "We recycle the paper we use company-wide. We limit our use of colored paper, since it's not easily recycled. All of our instruction manuals are printed on recycled paper" and, of course, "We actively promote the recycling of aluminum cans and glass in our corporate cafeterias."
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.