Everyday Computing, Features

All That Glitter

By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

THERE are so many interesting aspects of the timeless story of Christmas, of the birth of Jesus Christ. Surrounding the central element of the Virgin Birth are many layers such as the foretelling by the prophet Isaiah, the visit by the angel Gabriel to Mary, the dream of Joseph, the Star of Bethelehem, the three Wise Men, and their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The many surrounding elements provide a wrapping for the Christmas story. In a similar fashion, we typically prepare and wrap our gifts at Christmastime, except that the surrounding elements are usually discarded and thrown away.

The story of our own gift-giving is much worse, because we often discard the present itself, just like the wrapping paper, a few years later. This is especially true electronic gadgets such as phones and computers which are frequently updated and made obsolete after a new version is released. In the Christmas Story, the central present, which was Jesus himself, was kept around for a lifetime measured in decades. As we buy and package and distribute our own presents, we should be mindful of the manner in which we dispose of both the wrapping and eventually the gift, which may have a lifetime measured in a few of years.

Reusing and eventually recycling of these items is a must, especially in a small country. These stark facts were made clear at a recently attended eWaste Management Workshop. The trash we generate has economic potential if we only collected and disposed of it more carefully.

If you looked closely at the elements used in the components of a computer of other ICT equipment, you would find many precious elements, such as:
* Gold and Silver — in the printed circuit boards;
* Platinum and Palladium — in various components ;
* Copper and Cobalt — in heat sinks and hard drives.

There are several other elements to be found in other components, including sodium, magnesium, and zinc. All goods have a lifetime, even the mass produced components used in ICT equipment. Enjoy your presents, but be sure to eventually dispose of them and the wrapping in a responsible manner. Let’s keep our country beautiful! Merry Christmas!

To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The Voice.
About the Author
Dr.Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant based in Saint Lucia. His expertise includes systems analysis, design, and business intelligence.

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