It was holy week in Apple land, when all us loyal Mac fans turn to face the Macworld conference in San Francisco to hear where Apple is going to lead the consumer electronics industry next. But while we waited hopefully for Steve Jobs to announce better environmental practices, less toxic contents, and the greener apple we've all been dreaming of, all we got was a phone.
Is an iPhone in her future? E-waste in China.
OK, it's a totally cool phone, but still, it's a phone. We wanted an industrial revolution. One that would address the problem of all the e-waste piling up in China and India.
Thousands of participants in the Green my Apple campaign have been dropping some pretty big hints to Apple about what they wanted announced at Macworld.
They've been writing to Steve, blogging, creating graphics and ads, t-shirts and buttons, photographing themselves hugging their macs.
For our part, we bathed the Apple store in Manhattan in green light and put our cardboard Mac Guy (star of our alternative Mac Ad) on tour at the conference, and helped a small squad of Green Apple volunteers with the task of handing out leaflets about the Green my Apple campaign. It was popular stuff. They ran out of leaflets.
They were spreading the word about how much more Apple could do than the little that US law requires, which has earned them a pat on the head from the Bush Administration's Environmental Protection Agency.
We even presented Steve with a suggested speech, which was among the top YouTube videos viewed on the day of Steve's keynote.
But when it came time for the real speech, we didn't even get a measly Keynote slide about Apple's continued use of brominated fire retardants, PVC, and stuff that other computer manufactures have already agreed to phase out.
While Steve Jobs was studiously ignoring everyone's pleas to make Apple eco-friendly, Michael Dell of Dell computers was doing what Steve should be doing: leading. At the Consumer Electronics fair in Las Vegas, (a poor cousin to the grandeur which is Macworld) Dell said:
"I challenge every PC maker to join us in providing free recycling for every customer in every country... all the time == no exceptions."
Now that's the kind of different thinking we're asking for with the Green my Apple campaign. Steve, he's stealing your moves!
So if you love Apple and you want to buy iPods and iPhones and Macs that aren't going to poison kids in Asia and Africa when they reach the end of their lives, join the campaign to get Steve to do the right thing.
You can help by creating campaign materials, shooting pictures, cutting movies, or just sending an email to Steve.
See what others are doing and saying at the iBuzz page.
Obviously, we won't be looking for any fat corporate contributions from the computer industry anytime soon. We rely on donations from people like you to keep us going and keep us independent.