Thursday, September 20, 2012

Real Recycled Electronics

I took apart a VCR yesterday. A giant old Panasonic that I've been meaning to put up on my work bench for some time. But this wasn't just any old giant VCR, this was the video cassette recorder that lived in my parents' living room for most of my childhood. I watched movies on sick days and weekends and summer holidays. We had slumber parties and birthday parties with movies we watched on this VCR.

I realized not only that VCR parts will be in shorter and shorter supply as they make their way into history (hopefully recycled), but that much of what I create and share has more history than its manufacturing footprint. Every computer hard disk has stored school papers and love letters and resumes. And the DVD and CD ROMs made possible everything from software installations to homemade home videos and photo albums.

So I'll be thinking about these things more often now as I work with recycled mechanics and electronics, both in my own work and destashing at Beyond Junk. I hope you'll think about these possible histories when you do your own recycling, if for no reason other than to warm up your imagination before you create.