Despite my admiration for and frequent impersonations of Victor Meldrew I am actually quite moderate in most things. Except football, don’t get me started...this blog is likely to discend into whining and moaning on those rare days when Arsenal lose.
So, back on topic, environmentally I am not exactly a tree hugger, but equally I will not go out of my way to harm our environment, and like to ‘do my bit’ as it were.
However, joining a recycling business has made me think rather more about what we do. My colleagues are quite passionate about it and when you come to think of it the idea of putting electrical equipment into landfill by the ton is quite abhorrent.
Having been one of the first AATF’s (Authorised, Approved Treatment Facility) for WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), eReco know a lot about this sort of stuff. We have a 0% landfill commitment and everything we suck into our warehouse is returned to a useful state one way or another. But what most laypeople may not know is that we actually try to remarket anything that is resalable.
80% of the environmental harm is done during the manufacture of an electrical device, so if you can keep it in use a bit longer that is a good thing environmentally. It may not be good enough for a state of the art business using modern software (which seems to need more memory than Clive Sinclair ever thought possible) but there are lots of charities and organisations who can make use of them and we have our own eBay shop, which is quite cool. At least, I think so. There again my son doubts my ability to judge whether things are cool anymore.
I don’t know about you, but my reference to the tree hugger’s cliché epitomises what always put me off being really green. This whole planet is full of species that do harm to it and man is no different, just a bit more organised, but we should still use our commonsense. The IT industry has done that as far as I can see. The manufacturers make just about everything recyclable and at the other end of the spectrum there are people like us trying to keep the ball in play before we break it all down and start all over again.
The WEEE regulations are a good example of EU laws doing some good. Nigel Farage will hate me for saying it but it represents good joined up thinking. It is one of those things that would be hard to do in isolation but Europe acting together has made a real difference.