Do you know how many precious and rare metals go into making your iPhone?
Apple uses several rare earth metals, like neodymium, praseodymium, and dysprosium, in their products, including iPhones, Macs, and iPads.
This is true for many of your electronics. But most Americans throw out tons of consumer electronic products each year without giving it a second thought.
Some of it (25%) might be recycled, but most of it, 2.37 million tons, is tech waste. It goes into landfills, wasting precious Earth resources and producing toxic gases and chemicals that seep into the earth and air.
Read on to see how you can make a difference by reducing your e-waste footprint and, thus, live more sustainably.
Also Read: 5 ways to Make Your Own Dinosaur Fossil Dig
Reduce, Recycle, Reuse
Do you really need that memory stick or USB drive? Or do you have some old used ones lying around in some drawer in your closet or home office?
In your lifetime, as an American consumer, you will end up using on average 43.9 phones, 35.9 tablets, and 17.2 desktops!! Crazy, right?!
Think about what happens every single time Apple comes up with a new version of the iPhone or the MacBook Air. You might rush out and buy the latest version without thinking twice about it.
But what happens to your old phone? Or the old desktop? It’s thrown into the landfill without a second thought.
It’s time for all of us to become a bit more conscientious about what we consume and throw away. The best way to do this is to bring more reduce, recycle, and reuse techniques into your life.
Let’s look at some main ways below.
- Donate your old electronics to abused women’s shelters or people in need
- Donate your old mobile phones to charity through Cell Phones for Soldiers
- Think about using your phone or laptop for a year or two longer—reduce your consumption and stop trying to keep up with the Joneses
- Think about purchasing your electronics from eBay or Craigslist so that you can reuse electronics and prevent them from becoming e-waste
- Find out if the company you bought your electronics from runs a recycling program—participate in it
- There are other junk recycling programs run in most cities in the United States—they will pick up your tech waste and recycle e-waste
- Recycle batteries by throwing them into bins designated for that purpose
Perhaps think about living a minimalist lifestyle. You don’t have to go all the way and get rid of everything you own. But you can start thinking about consumption in a more conscious fashion.
Every single time you get the impulse to purchase another electronic item, think about all those mountains of tech waste in China and try to restrain yourself.
Do you really need this new piece of electronic? Could you do without it? Could you use the electronics you have at home for a bit longer?
Is this a need or a want? Is this something you absolutely need to survive, or are you letting your compulsions drive you?
Most Americans have a lot of electronics (the latest gadgets, TVs, and phones), but they also have an enormous amount of debt to go along with it. With minimalist and sustainable living, you can reduce both of these at once.
The average American has $92,727 in consumer debt. Some of it certainly has to do with the insane and uncontrolled consumption of electronics.
What if you controlled yourself and didn’t buy the latest electronics? Would you be less happy because of it? Or would nothing change?
Not only can you manage your money better this way, but you can also test your impulse control.
Sell Your Electronics Rather Than Throwing Them Away
A big part of managing e-waste comes from selling electronics to people who can’t afford the latest gadgets, rather than throwing away electronics that work perfectly fine.
Most people don’t even think twice about throwing away perfectly functioning electronics, but that’s a mentality that has to stop. Dozens of online retailers and websites are willing to help you sell your devices.
Your tech waste could be reduced if you started using Craigslist, eBay, Kijiji, and other awesome websites like these to sell your old, unwanted electronics.
Many people would be happy to take advantage of you upgrading your electronics.
Repair Your Electronics Rather Than Dumping Them
It was quite common for our ancestors to repair clothing and other items rather than throwing them away. For some reason, that hasn’t been inherited by modern culture.
Everyone is way too busy and way too distracted to get stuff fixed. But that’s a huge waste of money and landfill space.
Many electronics can be repaired quite easily, saving you money and saving the planet in the long run. The problem is most people don’t even think about repairing their electronics—it’s not even an option in their mind.
We need to bring back the culture of repairing broken items so that sustainable living doesn’t just become a buzzword but a way of life for all.
What if you repaired your TV antenna or TV rather than throwing it away? Find out now how to do that here.
Reducing Tech Waste Is Everyone’s Problem
If you think that tech waste and its management should be relegated to some government department or some organization rather than individuals, you are incorrect.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to tackle e-waste head-on. Yes, part of it comes from the rules and regulations that governments impose on companies and their waste management systems.
But a lot of it comes down to each person and the choices they make.
Are you ready to make a change in your e-waste production? Start today for the sake of sustainable living that guarantees a healthy life for future generations.
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