Maybe you recycle your bottles, newspapers and aluminum cans and carpool where you can. You use green cleaners at home and do your part to reduce your carbon footprint. We all want to do our part for the environment. But sometimes our part hits really close to home.
The Problem with E-Waste
That smartphone, coffee maker and gaming system can really have an impact –approximately 50 million tons of waste every year dumped into landfills with results that are nothing short of horrifying. All those products contain serious chemicals and hazardous materials that can poison our bodies and the environment. The irony? Electronics are some of the most easily salvageable products in landfills today.
Do Your Part To Recycle E-Waste and Electronics
So how can we keep e-waste out of landfills? Here are a few clever ways to reduce your technological footprint.
- Upcycle. One of the trendiest ways to reuse your old electronics is to upcycle them into something completely new. Everything from art, jewelry, toys and furniture have been redone from old electronics. Not crafty yourself? No problem. There are plenty of artists and businesses looking for your old “junk” to turn into something new.
- Regift. Estimates vary, but some speculate that as much as 25% of all the technology that goes into the trash is actually perfectly working – it is just unwanted. Check with your local nonprofit to see if those computers could be donated to a good cause. Or think about the elderly neighbor who might benefit from your old tablet.
- Recycle with a reputable service. If technology must be trashed, it is important to go with a reputable recycling service. There are certain EPA standards that technology trash must meet before it is trashed in a landfill. A reputable service can determine whether any of the internal components are still viable for other things – another form of recycling itself. More importantly, going with a reputable service ensures that your e-waste is simply not being resold to companies in parts of the developing world. In some countries, people are paid poorly to break apart dumped technology to get to the metals and other components the company hopes to make a profit on. This is a dangerous and deadly practice that we contribute to by not vetting our recycling services.
It’s easier than you think to do the right thing!