Consumer electronics has made many things in life easier for almost everyone. Our smartphones are like having supercomputers in our pockets, and there is always an updated version available with more developments that promise convenience, especially for those who live in modern cities.
However, between smartphones, computers, TVs, printers, etc., it seems that we are caught in the buy-and-replace cycle that is creating a global e-waste emergency. Also known as e-wasteThis is a global phenomenon steadily increasing Over the past 10 years – but why is it important to reduce our e-waste, and what positive effects might that have?
Reduce landfill of e-waste
There has been a lot of discussion lately about Creating a circular economy When it comes to our electronic waste. This will reduce the amount of e-waste produced, as more people will keep devices for longer, pass them on to others, and eventually recycle them. This process reduces landfills, which is especially important in city sites with less space for general household waste.
Reducing toxins in the environment
E-waste is not biodegradable, which means that once you put it in a landfill, it stays there instead of being broken down. This is a problem not only for the land used for waste but also for the soil, water and air quality around these sites. Most e-waste (typically thought only of smartphones, computers, and the like, but could be anything with a plug or battery in it) can release toxic chemicals like mercury and lead. They can be extremely harmful to both humans and animals alike, creating potential health effects for generations.
Raw material depletion is a major concern, and e-waste that is not recycled appropriately can contribute significantly to this. The materials used to create contemporary devices include precious metals such as cobalt, gold, and silver, resulting in a necessity for gaseous mining operations. By reducing the amount of e-waste we produce and what we consume, we can combat these losses.
Another positive step is to ensure that your electronic goods are properly recycled, as precious metals harvested from recycled goods produce fewer emissions than those mined from the earth.
With the mining of these raw materials using a great deal of energy, obtaining a secondary source of these minerals via recycling can be vital to reduce energy losses, as well as reduce the depletion of natural resources. With the right tools and strategies, much e-waste can be completely recycled, so responsible disposal is a powerful tool.
Contribute to climate change initiatives
Climate change is a major consideration in the media now, and for good reason – it is imperative that we take action to reduce our impact. While we all know how to make more conscious choices with the cars we drive and the type of energy we use, it’s also worth considering how e-waste affects our climate.
As we purchase increasing amounts of electronic items, the manufacturing behind these goods can increase CO2 emissions, with CO2 being released throughout production. All this happens before the product reaches the consumer. Reducing how often electronic goods are replaced can be challenging, especially in competitive city environments where you are surrounded by advertisements, but by waiting for items to be replaced, lower demand may reduce these harmful emissions.
Providing electronics to those who need it
If you live in an urban environment, you may be familiar with some of the local initiatives that aim to support those who may not have easy access to electronic devices and other contemporary necessities. Even if you need to replace your electronic devices before the end of their life, you can still contribute to the circular economy and create more opportunities for others by donating your e-waste. This not only reduces the amount you send to landfill, but it will extend the life of your “old” items.
with A lot of electronic waste goes to landfillThe negative impact on the planet is undeniable. However, with more conscious choices made by both consumers and the companies that manufacture these products, significant reductions in our e-waste are possible.
[Read more: What exactly is e-waste?]