The amount of electronic waste, or e-waste, generated in 2021 is predicted to be around 57.4 million metric tons. And the volume is expected to increase as the years go by.
This number is quite alarming, especially when the impact of e-waste on the environment is considered. Improper e-waste disposal can poison the soil, water, and air. And the contamination results in health hazards, such as brain damage, immune system damage, and respiratory and skin disorders.
Everyone should reduce their e-waste right now to prevent further environmental damage on a global level.
The first step to reducing e-waste is buying fewer electronics.
The new models of different electronics can be beautiful. They offer features that sound and look cool. But do you really need those features? Will you even use them if you have them? Also, the way new electronics are marketed is very persuasive. The ads can make you think that your life sucks because you don’t own the latest gadgets.
You can stop yourself from buying new tech by avoiding the ads completely. You can also consider reading and watching reviews of the tech you have. For example, check out what tech reviewers said about your current phone when it first came out. This strategy can help you regain your appreciation of your phone and forget about wanting to buy a new one.
Repair, Not Replace
When a gadget breaks, have it repaired first before you think about replacing it. This strategy will not just help you reduce your e-waste. It will also help you save money. For example, you dropped your iPhone and cracked its screen, but it still works perfectly. The cost of an iPhone screen servicing is much less than buying a new phone.
Repairing is also one form of buying less, which is a strategy to reduce e-waste discussed earlier.
Donate or Sell Your Electronics
You can also donate or sell your electronics. These are applicable if the electronics are in good working condition.
If you don’t know to whom you should donate your electronics, ask people from your network. Say you want to let go of your microwave. Ask your relatives and friends if they need one or know someone who needs it.
Meanwhile, if your gadgets are still in good shape, you can sell them online on eBay or Craigslist. Just make sure that you are honest about the condition of each gadget. Many people like to buy used electronics online to save some money. Selling online will not just help you reduce your e-waste but also give you extra cash.
Meanwhile, if your electronics no longer work and can’t be repaired, recycle them. Go online and search for a recycling center near you.
Unfortunately, not all electronics can be recycled. Before you take your stuff there, call the center beforehand and confirm what gadgets they accept. You can also ask what you need to do with your electronics to prepare them for recycling. Doing these things beforehand will save you time on your trip to the recycling center.
Repurposing electronics is also an option. You can find a new use for a gadget in its entirety or some of its parts. For example, the grills of an electric fan can be repurposed into home decor with the proper tools and accessories. You can use your old phone as a GPS tracker when you drive. Doing this will help you keep off your actual phone while you drive.
Migrate to the Cloud
Many pieces of hardware you own store data: your flash drives, your computer, and even your mobile phone. You may feel compelled to buy a new phone because your current phone’s memory storage isn’t enough anymore. And you don’t want to delete anything because you want to keep your memories with you.
But lack of storage isn’t a good reason to buy new gadgets. Use the cloud instead. A cloud subscription usually comes with an annual fee. But there are free versions that have limited storage capacity, such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
Migrating to the cloud has several benefits, aside from reducing your e-waste. It’s a secure way to store your data. It also reduces your clutter at home since you don’t need to keep flash drives or external hard drives in your drawers.
Reducing your e-waste is one of the best things you can do to help save the environment. If you can, encourage others to do it too. This collective effort will have a bigger positive impact and will lead to better results.