Many people buy new smartphones, new laptops, new electronics, when most of us still have functioning items at home. Whether from breakdown, slow-down, or just the availability of a newer model, people discard electronics at the slightest inconvenience. It’s not just laziness. In some cases, for example, buying a new printer is cheaper than buying a set of new ink cartridges.
The manufacture of electronics significantly increases mining and procurement for the materials needed for production of gadgets. The disposal of devices produce large quantities of electronic waste. That waste could be reduced through reuse, repair, or resale. Computers and most electronics contain toxic materials such as lead, zinc, nickel, flame retardants, barium, and chromium. If not disposed of properly, toxins from electronic waste can enter the soil and water supplies.
Of the $206 billion spent on consumer electronics in the U.S. in 2012, only 29 percent of the resulting e-waste generated was recycled. The rest were simply trashed. Who is to blame? Consumers certainly have a role to play in the increase of e-waste—they’re buying the goods, after all. But manufacturers have given people fewer and fewer viable ways to keep older electronics functioning effectively. They created planned obsolescence for example, making some old models not compatible anymore with new updates, apps or services.
One possible alternative is to check if the manufacturer offers buy-back or return systems for old equipment. Another option is to repair smartphones and computers. Finally, instead of dumping e-waste in the trash, make sure to take it into a e-waste recycling center, where materials will be selected safely and recycled.
Have a look at our selection of Green Tech initiatives
ITZOO is a UK company that sells refurbished laptops, tablets, PC’s, laptops, ipods, Macs, monitors and smartphones including iPhones. ITZOO is a Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher, meaning all of their products go through a rigorous refurbishing process to achieve the highest quality standards. The best news is that ITZOO offer a warranty of 12 months for all their refurbished products (same warranty as a new one!). Isn’t it a great way to make savings and help the planet?