Sustainable Electronics Initiative

Welcome to SEI

The Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI) at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is dedicated to the development and implementation of a more sustainable system for designing, producing, using, and managing electronic devices.

About SEI

Webinar, Oct. 21: Sustainable Electronics for Purchasers

Join Joy Scrogum of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center‘s Sustainable Electronics Initiative to learn about topics related to electronic devices and greener procurement. She’ll discuss purchase avoidance, reuse, repairing instead of replacing, supply chain issues (e.g. conflict minerals), and resources to help make more responsible choices. This webinar is a presentation for the IL Green Governments Coordinating Council Procurement Subcommittee, but is open to other interested parties. The webinar will take place from 9-10 AM (Central time) on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. Register at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/890717127.

Check Out Regolith: A Short Documentary on Scrap Workers in Ghana

At the beginning of Pollution Prevention Week back in September, I wrote about Agbogbloshie, in Accra, Ghana, and how it has been included on a list of the ten most polluted places in the world. In that previous post, I referred to Terra Blight, a documentary contrasting the use and perceived disposability of electronics in our Western culture versus the lives of those in Agbogbloshie, particularly a 13-year-old boy, who make a living gleaning precious materials from cast off electronics. I will continue to highly recommend that film (if you’re at the University of Illinois you can check the DVD out from the library).

For an immediate glimpse into life in Agbogbloshie, check out a short documentary film (around 9 minutes) on this region, directed by Sam Goldwater, called Regolith. This video was recently made a “staff pick” on Vimeo.

REGOLITH from Imagefiction Films on Vimeo.

In case you’re wondering, “regolith” is “a layer of loose, heterogeneous material covering solid rock. It includes dust, soil, broken rock, and other related materials and is present on Earth, the Moon, Mars, some asteroids, and other terrestrial planets and moons.” (Wikipedia) The use of the term, which is so often applied to the surface of the Moon or other planets, seems appropriate. Earth’s surface in Agbogbloshie has been transformed by humanity’s short-sighted, wasteful tendency to design and deploy products without whole life cycle considerations, into a nightmarish landscape, simultaneously alien and uncomfortably familiar.

View Older Posts at the SEI Blog Archive

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

Donate/Recycle Electronics

Find out where to recycle or donate your old electronics or find options near you at earth911.com.

2013 International Sustainable Electronics Competition

International E-Waste Design CompetitionWinners were announced at ISTC on December 5, 2013. Read the press release here. View the winning videos here.

 

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GLRPPR

Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable

The SEI has partnered with the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR) to create a sustainable future.