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Telling EPEAT Why (Real) Upgradability Matters

iFixIt’s Elizabeth recaps that two weeks ago iFixIt was dismayed to learn that computer hardware environmental rating agency EPEAT gave Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro a Gold certification, through the strained rationalization that defining any device with a USB port is technically “upgradeable. That’s not how iFixIt defines upgradable, Elizabeth notes, thanking nearly a thousand individuals who emailed EPEAT CEO Bob Frisbee to tell him about upgrades they’ve made to your devices, demonstrating how upgrading has made a difference in their lives, representing thousands of devices that remained in useful service instead of ending up in a junk heap.

Like for example the two hotrodded 12-year-old Pismo PowerBooks this writer is still using for production work, including drafting, editing, and marking up this column.

Elizabeth cites several advantages and benefits of real hardware upgradability, including:

1. Repairable and upgradeable hardware creates jobs.

2. Unfixable designs cause problems far, far from Cupertino, California.

3. Upgrades and repairs make technology available to people who need it.

The e-Waste Mountain Grows Bigger

iFixYouri’s Matthew contends that just because a product is in good working order, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the owner still wants to use it. He nots that manufacturers use that theory to convince buyers to replace electrical and computerized goods whether they need replacing or not, observing that our culture is permeated with consumerism, with new gadgets introduced all the time to keep abreast of fashion, while not nearly enough people invest in electronics repairs when they should. He concedes that this does keep the economy moving with supply and demand, but with the consequence that the mountains of e-waste generated from this non-sustainable behavior is overwhelming.

Matthew observes that electronic waste can have serious environmental effects, devices typically containing dangerous and toxic metals and chemicals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium, which can cause direct harm as well as seeping into and contaminating soil, people and animals are affected.

And while some electronic waste gets responsibly recycled, millions of electronic devices like computers, TVs and cell phones just enter the general garbage stream.

For the full commentaries visit here:
http://goo.gl/5ry6B
and here:
http://goo.gl/wfMGC

For more information on repair as an alternative to disposal, see:
http://www.ifixyouri.com

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