Quick & Simple – How to Reduce E-Waste
Electronic waste (also known as E-waste) is an ever-growing issue, so much so that we contribute to over 50 million tons of e-waste globally. It's essentially the improper discarding of electronic equipment, which is causing detrimental effects on humans and the environment.
Our desire to fight back on waste products is no new cause, but it's certainly becoming more important as the years go by. 100% paper coffee cups, bring-your-own-bags, and paper straws are all the craze and rightfully so – but e-waste is a far bigger problem than we ever imagined.
Why is there so much e-waste?
People want the latest in almost everything, especially phones and other electronics. We want the latest features to make our lives easier or show our financial pride off to our peers. However, when old products get replaced with new ones, there's a tendency to just discard them, especially when the battery life has come to a halt.
The average lifespan of electronics, especially phones, is becoming even shorter due to the increase in supply and demand. The impact of e-waste on the environment would be a whole other blog post. But essentially, harsh chemicals from broken down elements are harming ecosystems and human populations across the globe. The more we carry on with our current lifestyle, the more dangerous our drinking water, food sources, and the environment will become.
Fortunately, there are easy (and profitable) ways to do good for the planet and reduce e-waste. Find out how you can get involved:
Store your data online
Cloud services are a lifesaver when it comes to backing up your data. Instead of buying a hard drive that could easily be lost or forgotten about, why not back up your files online and access them quickly and safely?
Another benefit is it will reduce the demand for external hard drives, meaning less go in to waste!
Where to store your data online
Really want to upgrade? Or perhaps your phone is (actually) coming to the end of its life and it's going to cost you more to repair or better yet – you can't repair it yourself! Buying a refurbished phone is a guilt-free way of investing in something "new", but is actually refurbished to a high standard so it feels like a brand new device.
Buying refurbished electronics means you're keeping within the circular economy and not contributing to the demand and materials needed to mine and create a brand new product.
Sell old electronics
Got lots of tech lying around? Not only could you be sitting on a gold mine, but you might have lots of precious materials that could be repurposed for other tech items! Selling old electronics means you get a bit of cash and do good for the environment.
If this reason alone isn't enough to get you helping the e-waste landscape, we don't know what is! Sell old tech with musicMagpie and get a fantastic price for them!
Maintain your electronics
Simply looking after your tech can reduce the likelihood of it needing to be swapped for another device (and saves you money in the long-run). In turn, you reduce the amount of tech that ends up in landfill!
Here's how you can look after some of your everyday devices:
Maintaining a Laptop or PC:
- Make sure your laptop or PC's hard drive doesn't reach capacity. This is so access to your hard drive and other applications runs smoother for longer.
- Keep your keyboard, screen and other peripherals clean
- Watch your battery. Overcharging can cause damage to a laptop's battery overtime (though most modern-day laptops have built-in technology that can prevent this).
Maintaining a Mobile Phone:
- Use a phone case and screen protector so that your phone doesn't break when you drop it.
- Similarly to laptops, keep your device clean and don't always fully charge your battery if you don't need to (This improves overall battery lifespan).
By simply consuming less of all items, not just electronics, will positively impact your carbon footprint. Really ask yourself if you need to buy the latest tablet or phone, or if you definitely need that new feature on the latest iPhone.
More often than not – being conscious and asking yourself these questions will help you make less unnecessary purchases, saving you money and the planet!
Educate yourself on what goes into electronics
If we want to reduce electronic waste, we need to educate ourselves on what goes into an iPhone, Laptop, or Kindle, you can make your mind up on whether it's worth making the purchase.
Do some research into the raw materials that go into making these products. For example, the raw materials used to make a phone are:
- 10-15 kg of mined ore, including 7kg of high-grade gold ore
- 1kg of typical copper ore
- 750g of typical tungsten ore
- 200g of typical nickel ore.
That's a lot of precious metals for one phone! And that's not including all the other waste that goes with it. All in all, the more you educate yourself the more you can purchase items that won't be harmful to the environment.
You can also do your bit by shopping refurbished phones from the musicMagpie Store too.