Environmental change and global warming are two topics that have been top of mind lately, especially with the level of natural disasters and weather systems plaguing the globe. Most people want to know how to do their part to reduce their carbon footprint and make a positive change in the world. Reducing your eWaste is one way you can help the Earth and yourself at the same time, and getting rid of your electronics responsibly is a lot easier than you think, and can even make you some extra cash.
What is eWaste?
eWaste is a term used for electronic devices, large appliances, and any other product that has an electronic component that has become unwanted. They are usually discarded in an irresponsible manner that is dangerous to the environment. These devices make it to a landfill and get buried, where they leech toxic chemicals into the ground.
Why is eWaste important?
eWaste leeches dangerous chemicals into the ground
When an electronic device is thrown in a landfill, the toxic chemicals from the metals inside the device leak into the ground and can infect the groundwater. This is called leeching and because of the volume of devices being thrown into landfills, is becoming a significant problem. The toxic chemicals are not just leeching into the water under the landfill, but traveling to areas that use fresh water to live. Places that use wells for fresh water may no longer be able to drink that water and the natural wildlife can also be affected by tainted drinking water.
eWaste squanders valuable resources
Most electronics contain valuable metals such as gold, silver, and copper that can be extracted from an old device and used in a new one. The valuable materials that can be mined from discarded technology can be used to make new devices, or rebuild electronics to be donated to those who can’t afford them. The recycling of these precious metals can reduce the need to mine for more which reduces the emissions created from mining, extracting, processing, and manufacturing. You may think you are just throwing out a cell phone, but you are in fact contributing to the greenhouse gas emissions that are devastating our environment.
Ways to reduce eWaste
Sell your device to a company that will recycle it responsibly
When you are looking for ways to remove some of the old electronics from your home, then take a look at some responsible ways to recycle those devices. Certain websites will buy your old device and recycle it while others will take your donated electronics and turn them into refurbished items to be given to those who can’t afford them. Companies like Gizmogo will make the whole process incredibly easy and straightforward and you can feel good knowing that you are recycling your item in the least hazardous way possible.
Benefits of using this service to sell your electronics include:
- They will take most devices – Choose your device from a list of thousands of products before you ship it out.
- Free shipping – when they receive your request to have your electronics evaluated, they will send you a shipping slip so you can send your items to them for free. Once they receive those items, the professionals will examine them for parts, damage, and other criteria and offer a cash amount to keep them.
- Cash in 24 hours – Once you accept the offer, you can have your cash transferred to you in as little as 24 hours using one of the payment methods they offer.
- Have your device wiped clean of any personal information – Before you send your device, you should back up all of your data. They will restore the device back to factory settings which means all of your personal information will be wiped clean.
Repurpose your old cell phones
You can add your favorite music or podcasts to your old phones and use them as mp3 players at the gym, on a walk, or on your bike. If you have friends and family looking for a new phone, you can offer it to them as a new device to activate instead of spending the money on a new phone. Old cell phones are perfect to give to kids as their first cell phone, or as a device to play games and take pictures.
Donate your device to a place that rebuilds electronics for charity
If you do a search online, you should be able to find companies in your area that will take your donated electronics and rebuild them into a working product to be used by individuals who can’t afford to buy them. Things like cell phones, laptops, and tablets can all be repurposed to serve as educational tools and communications tools for those who are underprivileged and need them.
Evaluate your needs
When it comes right down to it, most of us don’t need to have the newest devices available, or more than two electronic devices. When it comes to what you can do to reduce eWaste, ask yourself some questions before you hit the buy button on that new iPhone or tablet. Do you really need it? Is your old one still in working shape? Can you get a few more years out of your old device? If you find that for your purposes, the device you currently have will do the trick, then you know you can hold off on buying the latest and greatest, save yourself some money, and know you are helping your environment.
When it comes to recycling old electronics, we all know we could do better. The problem of these devices leeching into the groundwater when they are sent to landfills is a serious one and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. If you decide to let go of some of your old electronics, make sure it is in a socially responsible way and make yourself a little bit of extra cash.