We’re all guilty of it. The moment a rumor of a new version of a mobile device hits the internet we scramble for details. Sure enough, as each phone or tablet gets released, many of us are among the first in line for the new gadget, even if the one we have in our hands is maybe a few months old. With technology changing as fast as it is, no one can blame us for getting excited. The downside to our obsession though, is that it comes with a cost that’s not just financial. Every year, we are producing tons and tons of harmful e-waste.
What is E-Waste?
“E-waste” is the casual term used to describe any discarded electronic device. In many cases the technology has become obsolete. The difference between e-waste and other forms of waste is that it cannot be tossed in a landfill. Because many people don’t know what to do with e-waste, it often gets discarded improperly, if at all.
What does e-waste do to the environment?
If not discarded or recycled properly, the harmful materials used to make electronic devices like lead, cadmium, and mercury, end up in our earth’s soil and our water supply, not only polluting our planet, but humans and animals alike. It is estimated that 20 million tons of e-waste is produced each year, with 3.4 million coming from the United States alone.
What are the solutions to e-waste?
Reuse, refurbish, and recycle! By operating a repair shop or selling refurbished phones, you are extending the life of mobile devices that would otherwise be discarded. You’re being green and you probably didn’t even realize it! By taking your device to have it repaired, you are not only saving money by not purchasing a new device, you are stimulating the economy by going to a local business, as well as being courteous to the environment.
How can you help minimize e-waste?
If you operate a repair shop like many of our customers, you are already minimizing e-waste simply by repairing a device and making it last longer. You can take that a step further by recycling your broken screens, often for cash or store credit.
If you don’t operate a mobile device repair shop, you extend the life of your device by putting a case or screen protector on it, or by taking it to get repaired when it breaks as opposed to purchasing a new device. You can also donate your old device to a school or charity center.
-By: Jessica Kristnofe, Director of Customer Relations