The technology in smartphones and laptops includes minerals mined in areas of Africa riven by warfare. But fighting back does not mean giving up technology, reports Kate Dailey.
This article, titled, "How to offset your 'conflict mineral' guilt," drives home the interconnectedness of the modern globalized world. While no one would be in favor of slave labor in mines that support African warlords, the production process to make cell phones, laptops and just about any portable electronic device are dependent of the raw material coming out of mines in Eastern Congo under these conditions.
So what is a consumer to do? This article outlines some ideas for people to be social advocates to change the geographies of their commodities without completely separating themselves from the modern world. For more on the U.S. law for corporate disclosure of 'conflict minerals' in their products, see: http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/new-us-law-requires-electronics-makers-to-disclose-conflict-mineral-use.html