Nowadays people replace their digital gadgets and electronics items at an alarming rate. Companies offer new devices with new contracts, gaming consoles seems to be updated with new versions every year.
The same goes for laptops, computers, and other electronic devices. We tend to dump, discard them without a second thought. We often fail to realise the amount of waste we are adding to the environment. This is what we called “digital dumping” So what can you do with your old, outdated, ‘now worthless’ gadgets ?
ENVIRONMENTAL & SOCIAL IMPACTS
- E-waste contain heavy metals & toxic chemicals. In landfill, these toxins leach out & pollute the environment.
- Improper recycling causes air, soil & water pollution
- Marine life is at risk
- Mining for metals is causing habitat loss
- Humans can absorb toxic chemicals through air & groundwater
- Unofficial recycling center usually rely on child labour
Here are actionable, realistic tips we can do to reduce e-waste :
(1).Extend the life of your devices
Make sure to get the good of your device ! Try to use and keep your device in good condition for as long as is possible. Buy a case, keep your device clean, and avoid overcharging the battery.
Consider repair before buying the new one ! Not only is this cost effective but it keeps the product out of landfill for as long as possible.
(2). Re-Evaluate and choose Second hand
Before buying the one one, ask yourself : “do i really need an upgrade ? to that extra gadget ?“
Even if the answer is “yes”, try finding one device with multiple functions.
Alternatively, you can choose secondhand ! This means that the device is being saved from disposal and you are contributing less to the growing production of electronics. What’s more, they are cheaper too !
(3). Choose Lease & Take back Programs
Before purchasing electronics, ask the store if they have a buyback program. Some brands even allow you to trade your obsolete equipment for gift cards aside from their in-store recycling options.
(4). Check E-cycling centres around your community/city/state
Give all your electronics that can’t be donated or resold to local groups that are moderated by local volunteers. Alternatively, you can collect all your e-waste once a month and give them away at an e-cycling center in your community / city / state.
(5). Educate yourself on the materials
Last but certainly not the least, research about the raw materials being used to manufacture your mobile phone, dishwasher or laptop. Some raw materials are easy to recycle while others aren’t. Gadgets also contain a number of toxic materials. The more you educate yourself, the better you’ll be able to purchase items that will not harm the environment in the long term.
Devices are projected to grow to 25 – 50 billion by the end of this year. Before tsunami of e-waste , it’s time to think green and take real action to keep electronic devices out of landfill for as long as possible. Share your tips on how we can contribute to reduce our digital dumping below !