Recycling and mobile
Cell-phone recycling guide: "Tantalum is a superconductor, one of the best on Earth. It is used to coat capacitors to help them create more power from less energy so that your cell phone no longer needs a battery larger than the phone itself. In war torn central Africa, people are forced into modern day slavery to mine this rare element, which is then sold to fund the wars in this region"
Mike@FP alerted me to Costing the Earth last year, which had an episode on the subject of greener approaches to recycling: forcing manufacturers to bear the cost of disassembling their goods, making it in their interest to enable easier recycling wherever possible. Strategies they looked at included using shape memory alloys to bind phone handset parts together: pour boiling water over them, they lose their strength and the handset just falls apart.
Where the upside of mobile being mass-market is a huge audience, the down-side is that even a minimal negative impact on the environment from each member of audience has a huge aggregated effect...