Photo by Jaymi Heimbuch
My aunt takes good care of me - sending me little treats in the mail all the time. Yesterday I got a Halloween package in a cute little envelope. When I opened it, it proceeded to howl and cackle at me - a little recorded sound track that played every time you flexed the envelope open. On the one hand, I had to laugh, thinking about how she put thought into picking out this admittedly adorable envelope. On the other hand, I had to suppress anger that this stuff is made in the first place. Exactly what are we expecting will happen to these envelopes? The get opened, then tossed in the trash to become e-waste polluting our landfills, that's what.
The device isn't just a simple little recording with some wires and a battery - it has three batteries. Three. On top of the bits of wire and other electronics all created just to make a sound when someone opens an envelope.
I wonder what percentage of people receiving these are going to take the time to rip out the e-waste, recover the batteries and save them for reuse later, put the rest of the device in their pile of electronics to take to e-recycling, and put the remainder of the envelope in the recycling or compost bin? Or even realize that they should. Probably very few, unfortunately.
I loved the treats inside the envelope, and the thought that went into it; but the e-waste feels like a mean trick being played on everyone.