Technology and the Environment


Partner up with someone. Look at the images and video and then read the questions. Discuss your ideas with your partner and then write answers to the question in full sentences and drop off at the end of class with both your name and your partner's name on your document.


1) Take a look at the following image - write down your ideas/guess of what this is.

Image from:

2) Watch the following video with your partner - an excerpt from Edward Burtynsky's film Manufactured Landscapes. 

This is a video about the images created by large format photographer Edward Burtynsky, a Canadian photographer and Ryerson graduate. He has also shot many other subjects including the mining industry, ship salvaging and most recently oil production

Discuss the video with your partner: What was significant about what you saw? What were your impressions?

Write a very short (2-3 sentences) summary of of what the video was about. Also, in a few sentences describe what you and your partner thought was the most important point this video made.

3) What role do you (and most of Canadian society) play in the creation of electronic waste? Give any personal examples you can think of. Should this change? 

How should this change - what ideas would you propose if you can make some policy or other types of changes? Discuss with your partner then write your answers in paragraph form.

5) What is planned obsolescence? Is this part of the problem and how?

6) Who's responsibility is it deal with unwanted electronics? Consumers, the companies who create the products, government or someone else. Explain your choice.

7) Shipping e-waste to China provides a form of industry to some very poor rural areas that might not have any other economic activity. Do you think shipping e-waste to these areas for processing is an ethical way to deal with it? Discuss with a partner why or why not write your ideas in a paragraph.

8) With a partner research what role Canada plays in exporting of e-waste. Include some URLs of the most recent articles you can find on the subject. Are we being pro-active or not bothering to deal with the issue? Write down what you found about the current state of this issue.