Climbing Down From Our Mountain of E-waste
Nowadays, electronic devices are doing more than just sensing and displaying data. They also listen, speak, measure, illuminate and collaborate with other electronics, making up a class of products called the Internet of Things, connected devices or sometimes wearables. Connected devices show huge potential for resource efficiency and better quality of life. A smart window-shade and air-conditioning system in communication with each other can heat and cool a building using less energy while increasing the comfort of its occupants. But this new frontier has a big consequence: The more everyday products contain electronics, the more e-waste will be produced.E-waste refers to electronic devices that have reached the end of their useful lives. With more of our products becoming e-waste, we must rethink the life cycles of our smart electronics and the materials we use to build them.