Your thoughts on overconsumption, resources and e-waste

Good afternoon everyone :)!

I'm currently involved in a project within my studies in which I'm investigating attitudes towards the topics of overconsumption, resources (within electronics) and e-waste. After reading a bit about the large scale production of electronics, mainly in China, I've become interested in the relation between the DIY-electronics-scene and the companies producing electronic devices and components.

As I see it, it is a field of two parts with conflicting sets values. One beeing the companies, representing questionable working conditions, interest in profit and planned obsolescence. The other beeing the DIY-practioneer representing values such as "free", "spreading of knowledge" and "repair" through the notion of open-source. On the same time the DIY-practioneer seems to be completly dependent on the large companies to provide them with cheap and available components.

As a first step in this project and as a way to start a discussion about these topics, I've made a >>>tutorial<<< on how to make one of my very first prototypes. It's a very simple piece of electronics that will burn a component under the nose of the user in order to give him/her a partial experience of the recycling process of e-waste. This prototype is based on the themes highlighted in the Swedish short documentary "Our electronic waste" (VĂ¥ra elektroniska sopor) published by the Swedish public television.

The idea is that you can follow the tutorial, make a prototype for yourself if you like, and that we then can continue this dialog by posting our experiences, thoughts, ideas and hopes here in the thread.

For instance, what do you think about the large scale production and recycling of electronics in China? Do you know of any alternatives? Have you been thinking about these questions before or have you not? How would you like it to be, and how do you think it will be in the future?

I'm very greatful for you participation :slight_smile: thank you!


  1. you cannot throw anything away, never. Atoms are here to stay (for 10^20 years).
    where is that "away"?
  2. no animal (including humans) can survive in its own waste.

if we want to survive as humans there is only one solution: convert the waste to something non-waste, preferably something usable (a new resource)

yup I've read Cradle to Cradle long ago

I am astounded by the general throw away society. I recycle as much as I practically can. At work I am responsible for disposal of IT equipment. Any useable PCs are sent to schools etc. Any other is sent off for recycling. I do not know what happens after it leaves me but it goes to a large recycling company.

Unfortunately my colleagues still throw keyboards and mice in the bin.

My shed is full of "useful" stuff waiting for a new life.


I think that the word you're looking for is clusterf__k.

It won't be ending any time soon as that would require a massive upward shift of IQ and sanity over stupidity and greed in the human race. Not going to happen, just enjoy the ride.