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Design stories from the circular economy. Highlighting artists, designers, and innovators who are using trash as their raw material.

6 Ways to Reduce Your E-waste

If you’ve read our latest article on the hidden cost of e-waste Global E-waste: Scourge and Opportunity, you will know that electronic waste is taking a huge toll on our planet and people. From the mining for metals to the dumping of e-waste, the electronics supply chain is toxic. Now that you are informed, here are some concrete actions you can take to be a part of the solution.

 
Broken screen on smart phone © sienamcgibben100

Broken screen on smart phone © sienamcgibben100

1.     Necessity over trend

The first thing to ask yourself is whether you really need that new device? Can you resist the shiny new thing on the tech block? Maybe instead of buying another gadget, you can consider spending more time with your friends, family, or in nature? Or maybe you can replace your cracked screen? We believe that taking care of the planet is much cooler than slavishly following the latest trends.

2.    Green your screen

You can purchase refurbished devices from trusted companies such as Back Market, or even modular phones like the innovative Fair Phone whose spare parts can be bought separately and replaced easily. Plus look out for eco-friendly certification on products such as the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) or the Energy Star.

3.   Live longer

Just like taking care of your body, you can extend the life of your device by taking care of it. Prolong battery life by not overcharging it and turn your devices off when not in use, as a lot of energy is wasted on idle electronics. Also protect your phone, laptop or tablet by using a case, keep them clean, and refrain from exposing your gadget to the elements and extreme temperatures.

1Story by Matt Blackwood and Csilla Csongvay © Matt Blackwood

1Story by Matt Blackwood and Csilla Csongvay © Matt Blackwood

4. Repurpose!

There are many incredibly useful ways to give your mobile phone a new life with the aid of a plethora of apps. Our favourites include using your old mobile phone as a navigation device you keep in your car, a baby monitor for savvy parents, or a flash drive to store music and photos.

5. Donate
If your electronics are still working but you no longer need or want them, give them away to friends or family, or online to fantastic organisations like Freecyle. Remember to delete your data before passing your device on!

6. Reduce...reuse… and recycle
Recycling is the last resort for any device but sometimes they are really beyond repair. Many companies offer take-back programmes where they will take your used electronics and recycle them for free - find more details on the EPA website. Otherwise you can drop them off at an e-cycling centre closest to you.


As you can see, there are many things you can do reduce your electronic waste. One thing is for sure, e-waste is way too toxic to end up in the landfill! Please spread the wisdom and drop your comments below if you have anymore innovative tips.


Tina Ateljevic


Tina AteljevicComment