In this time of rapid technological advancement, more and more electronic goods are being discarded. But at what cost to the planet? Did you know that E-waste comprises 70% of our overall toxic waste? It is important to learn how to properly reduce, reuse, and recycle electronics as many electronics are filled with elements that are hazardous to the environment.
What’s all the E-waste about?
Electronic waste, or e-waste, is an electronic product that is close to the end of its useful life. These include products such as cellphones, laptops, dvd players, computers, as well as their components including batteries, power cords, and accessories. Did you know we generate around 40 million tons of electronic waste every year? It is equivalent to throwing away 800 computers every second. Take a look at these facts on e-waste.
Facts About E-Waste:
- In the US approximately 150 million cellphones are thrown out annually.
- E-waste contains hundreds of substances, of which many are toxic including mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, selenium, chromium, and flame retardants.
- 85% of our E-Waste is sent to landfills and are typically burned, releasing harmful toxins into the air.
- Only 12.5% of E-Waste is recycled.
- It takes 530 lbs of fossil fuel, 48 lbs of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor.
- The most common hazardous electronic items include the LCD desktop monitors, LCD televisions, Plasma Televisions, TVs and computers with Cathode Ray Tubes.
- Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year.
How can I make an impact:
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Reduce your consumption. Don’t be a victim of marketing giants by continually upgrading your devices.
- Donate or sell electronics that are in good working condition.
- Recycle via the retailer. Many companies give a trade in offer for old products.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- Maintaining your electronics will extend the life of the product.
- Purchase energy star electronics helps reduce the load on our natural resources.
- Choose products with less toxicity, greater recycled content, and higher efficiency.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Educate yourself on what materials are in these electronics and how they can be harmful to your health and the health of the planet.
- Dispose of all E-waste properly. If you don’t know what to do with a product, search online for ways to properly dispose of it.