Technology changes rapidly, and with a similar speed, it creates junk in your house! We are making around 40 million tons of electronic waste every year worldwide. The average time a user replaces a mobile phone is less than 18 months. The alarming picture is that only 12.5 % of electronic waste is recycled, remaining 87.5% of electronic waste finds its way in landfills and oceans.
You don’t have to be an activist to show your concern for the environment. To do your part, be responsible for your electronic waste and try to recycle it. Here are seven simple ways to deal with your old tech.
Trade It At A Retail Store
Many retail stores trade old and used electronic items. A great example is the Best Buy store which has possibly the best recycling program. You can recycle three things per day for free. Certain items are also eligible for discounts. Best Buy accepts everything from a car navigation GPS to paper shredders.
Other stores like Staples offer trades on cell phones, tablets, computers, and electronic monitors. You can also take your cell phones and rechargeable batteries to Lowes.
Sell It Online
Put all your old electronic gadgets on Facebook, Craigslist, or eBay. There is a huge market for refurbished electronic items as well. Most parents prefer to buy refurbished techs for their kids; even the well-off sometimes don’t waste money on new gadgets and pick refurbished items.
Selling online will solve electronic waste accumulation at your house and get you a little money. Selling may not always make a product reusable, but many components are refurbished and reused in an electronic item.
Think About Donating
Many of us are tech-savvy and conscious about the latest gadgets and phones. Any average phone is good to last for two to three years. If you are frequently changing your electronic devices, think about donating them. If you are not sure where you can do it, consider these options.
- Donate computers and peripherals on Dell reconnect, World Computer Exchange, and National Cristina Foundation.
- Cell phones can be donated and refurbished at the National Coalition for Domestic Violence and Cell Phones for Veterans, providing communication service to veterans and troops.
- Donate all gaming gears to AbleGamers, Gamers Outreach, and Charity Nerds. These institutions provide refurbished gaming consoles to hospitalized children.
Another excellent way is to speak to the original manufacturer. If you buy a new product, the old product goes to the manufacturer, and they will also provide you with a discount.
Companies like Dell, IBM, and HP also offer a branded recycling program. These companies will take back the product and even give you credit or a gift card to purchase their new techs. Companies like Dell also take back products from other manufacturers since they partner with the Goodwill recycling program.
Get It Repaired
Repairing is one of the simplest and cheapest options, but studies show people change their gadgets even if there is a minor fault. If your laptop or cell phone is not working, you must get a complete check done. The defect will be minor in most cases, and replacing the faulty component will hopefully repair your tech.
Educate your children about e-waste management. Use electronic gadgets like laptops, tablets, and cellphones for a minimum duration of three years. These simple things will save you money and protect the environment of e-waste; at least some effort!
Organize An Auction
This point is relevant for offices and firms where every year lots of electronic gadgets are replaced. Replacement is mainly due to old technology or modernization drive. All your office computers, printers, and other electronic devices can be of great use for schools, small firms, or community centers. Auction as much as possible; anything that is remaining you can donate or send it for recycling.
The Environment Protection Agency reports indicate that Americans are the number one contributor to e-waste. The US is also the top destination for e-waste from other countries. Technology has made life easy for us, but a sense of responsibility must prevail. As responsible citizens, we all need to do our bit and let the earth breathe.
Simple actions like recycling, proper disposal of batteries, using your electronic gadget for an extended year, and resorting to repair and refurbishment will help a lot.