Since technology has advanced so quickly over the last few decades, it isn’t easy to envision life without smartphones, GPS navigation systems, laptops, and other electronic devices.
At the same time, environmentalists, state and local governments, and basically every global organisation are seriously considering how to reduce e-waste in light of the exponential growth in the volume of used electronics being wasted. There are 7.5 billion people on the planet; still, there are currently more mobile phones than people. According to estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling the precious metals and polymers in old cell phones rather than mining for fresh materials can save the energy needed to power up to 24,000 U.S. homes annually.
Recycling, which extracts valuable components from broken devices and makes them available for new products, has been the logical solution to this problem. However, e-waste recycling rates are persistently low, which is why recycling proponents are doing what they can to inform people about the strategy’s long-term environmental and financial advantages.
What Are Ideas for How to Tackle E-Waste?
Grasping why we don’t want our used electronics to continue to flow into local landfills is the first step in understanding the difficulty of decreasing e-waste, which everyone must become aware of and commit to accomplishing. The question of how to tackle e-waste becomes all the more important.
Electronic trash is described as discarded electrical or electronic equipment that, if disposed of in landfills, could cause harm to people and the environment. Even though they are safe to use, these devices contain hazardous materials like mercury and lead, and if they are disposed of in a landfill, those toxins can leach into the soil and water, poisoning both. You and your family face a health risk if those pollutants end up in your drinking water.
And this is no easy task. There has been a propensity to simply throw these things away as technology advances and keeps enhancing our devices, giving us incentives to get rid of our older versions in favour of the newer ones. As a result, there is now a significant global e-waste issue. With constant technological advancements, how to tackle e-waste has become a big question.
It takes more than just reducing those environmental dangers to reduce e-waste. Reusing components from e-waste requires much less energy than producing new ones, which helps us save resources and lowers the amount of energy needed to make these items.
Utilizing recycled materials to create new items allows us to reduce the price of new consumer goods further. For manufacturers, this is a much less expensive option than mining for virgin ore to create new metals. This implies that if manufacturers have access to the components, they require from the recycling industry, the cost of producing a new smartphone—or any other electronic device—decreases.
Additionally, we may use methods to lessen the amount of e-waste. here’s how to tackle e-waste:
- Being a responsible buyer: When you’re prepared to purchase a new item, it’s recommended to do some research. Ensure that it won’t crack easily or suffer damage soon after you get it. In other words, choose things that are likely to last a lot longer so you won’t have to replace them after a few years or even just a few months. Making products with shorter lifespans so that more money may be made in the long run when they fail or break is well-known industry practice in electronics.
- Reuse as often as you can. Try repairing the electrical gadget before purchasing a new one if you have functional components and equipment. When a device can no longer be fixed, it should be recycled.
- Learn about the ingredients used in your electronics—the power of knowledge. You can learn how toxic such substances can be if they are thrown into a landfill by doing some research on the essential ingredients used to make your laptop or mobile phone. The more informed you are, the more goods you can buy that won’t damage the environment.
- Look for a label that says it is eco-friendly. Consider checking the Energy Star or Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool labels on your purchase items.
- Think about reducing the amount of technology you own. Look for gadgets with several uses if you don’t actually need an extra one.
- Recycle everything you can. Whatever you have, it’s crucial to dispose of your e-waste on a regular basis properly. That involves recycling all of your old gadgets, keeping in mind that it’s dangerous to dispose of e-waste improperly, especially given how much of it there is now.
Before selling, giving away, or donating your smartphone, don’t forget to delete the memory and factory reset it. The environment can benefit greatly from us being more aware of the electronics we use and the part we can play in decreasing e-waste. Here is how to tackle e-waste efficiently at home. Did you adopt any of these before?
Image Credits: Deccan Herald