Friday, August 18, 2006

No Dirty Gold Campaign

Don't trash your old cell phone - recycle it.

That's the advice Alasdair provides over at his blog where he highlights a much needed organization (recyclemycellphone.org) that can hook you up with a way to safely dispose your old cell phone so its contaminants don't pollute the landfills. He's even got his employer on board with the mission.

Little by little he's doing gorillas a favor.

He's already recycling unread and unsold copies of newly released books that get sent to his company along with hoards of promotional material they expect his company to disseminate. When the books don't sell, he puts them up for sale to the lowest bidder at an online clearinghouse for books. The proceeds go to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the United Way.

By recycling cell phones, pressure may be reduced on coltan mining. Coltan is a mineral used to make cell phones. Guess where it's mined? Deep in the heart of darkness in the Congo. Roads in - miners in - guerillas in - dead gorillas out and prime habitat polluted and destroyed for all.

The cell phone recyclers have teamed up with the No Dirty Gold Campaign that seeks to make gold mining less horrible.

They say that the tiny band of gold around my finger created 20 tons of mining waste to produce. Holy crap. That's a lot of cyanide and mercury. And that's not to mention the impressive diamond nearby - for all I know it's a conflict diamond.

What's so impressive about a diamond anyway except for the mining?

As I look at the tokens of love and commitment on my finger and my nearby cell phone that I use to stay in touch with loved ones, I can't help but to reflect with new eyes on the impact these things have.

And, I am reminded of a favorite line in a song from Sarah McLachlan:
love-- a tight, thorny thread that you spin in a circle of gold

From an EP standpoint, it's crucial to have a signal of commitment and monogamy to deter others from trying to poach your mate. Yes - mate poaching. It's a named phenomenon that happens often enough for it to be a serious problem. Would be adulterers are well known for slipping off the symbol so as to increase their pool of potentials, so we know at some level that rings do signal availability.

We obviously didn't have rings of gold to signal a bond in ancestral times, so what did we do then and why not do that?

It would probably be a whole lot more environmentally responsible.

1 comment:

twf said...

My husband and I weren't going to do the diamond thing, but my mother-in-law offered a family heirloom diamond engagement ring and I accepted it. We did want gold wedding bands, and took them.

It's impossible to live your life in such a way to never damage the environment. All we can do is work at minimizing our impact.