Every year, more than 20 million tons of e-waste is produced which ends up in landfill worldwide. Disposing of electronics incorrectly increases the chance of dangerous chemicals polluting the air and contaminating the soil. The issues caused from e-waste stem from the ever-increasing volume of products produced. Fast pace technological innovation and increased usage across the world’s population means that the number of gadgets and electronics we use is likely to continue to continue to increase rapidly.
At some point all of us will have purchased a large or small electrical appliance, or even just a smart phone. After years of having these products they suddenly decide to give up on you, leaving you with the question – how do I get rid of this?
Here are a few top tips to reduce your E-Waste:
1. Donate or Sell - One of the simplest ways to manage E-Waste is to simply sell the electronics if they are in good working condition. Try Amazon or eBay to sell these items or give them to someone who needs it.
2. Recycle through Retailers - Major retailers and phone brands have in-store, online and drop-off site recycling options. They recycle computers, mobile phones and TVs. Some even let you trade your old electronics for gift cards. Ensure you ask the retailers about this whenever you are purchasing new products.
3. Use Less – It’s easy to want to purchase the newest iPhone or latest tablet or laptop without stopping to think if we really need them or not. Before buying anything new, ask yourself if you really need it. Is your current phone in good working condition, why not upgrade the software? Or repair it rather than buy a new one?
4. Take it to the Tidy Tip - If you’re strong enough and have suitable transport (beware of the risk of chemical spillage) you can take your larger items such as fridges or washing machines to the local tip to dispose of free of charge. Always check beforehand what items aren’t accepted.
5. Store Data Online – ‘Cloud Services’ are much better at reducing your environmental impact than you would think. By storing data online, you get to access your data from anywhere around the world, without the need to carry a storage device at all times. This not only offers convenience to you but reduces the need for manufacturing of new storage devices, indirectly reducing your carbon footprint and the amount of generated e-waste.
6. Organise Electronics – Given the number of electronics that each household has on average, it’s no wonder that we forget what items we even have. Instead of buying new devices, organise your existing ones to see if you really need to buy them. For example, old mobile phones can be used as universal remotes or one of your other devices may have an unused memory stick in it.