In our latest guest post, Stuart from Freedom Mobiles checks out sustainable ways to discard of old tech. In a world where tech items have become a part of our daily lives, disposing of them is as important as acquiring them. Once we dispose of our old mobiles, screens, or computers, we need to become more conscious of where our tech items go when the time comes to replace them. Every day, we have some type of tech item in our pocket, whether it's a smartwatch, a phone, a computer, or a tablet. Disposing of these items isn't just throwing them in the recycle bin and thinking it's gone - it's still in there.
If we love our pets, loved ones, and our planet, we need to adopt a green mindset. We might decide to wander with our mobile phones on a nature hike, taking pictures of fluttering butterflies and buzzing bees. In such a case, we need to manage e-waste responsibly. Don't worry, however. It may be confusing to let go of your beloved technology item, but we're here to guide you through that process amicably for both you and the planet.
The UK generated the second most e-waste per capita behind Norway. Every year, the world produces 20 to 50 million tons of e-waste, affecting us humans, animals, our oceans, and thus also the crops that sustain the world. How can this be a good reason to know where to dispose of your e-waste? In addition, many tech products that have precious metals like silver, gold, and copper end up in landfills if not disposed of correctly. It results in landfills overflowing and possible revenue losses. We can improve and hopefully fix it by doing a few simple things.
Simple Ways to Dispose of Your E-waste
Let's have a gander at some ways you can dispose of your e-waste while donning a green hat:
- Paying it forward - If your device is still in good condition or close to it, you can pass it on to a friend or family member. Even better, consider donating it to a local charity that can benefit from such a device yet cannot afford to purchase one themselves. Whether they use it for charity or sell it to assist with funding, it will still be going to a good cause. Just be sure to give it a thorough clean beforehand and erase all your data. It’s a quick task. Reset your device to factory settings.
- Return to the manufacturer - Some manufacturers offer a buy-back option where they will pay you, given a lesser amount than your original purchase price, for your device. You can do a simple Google search for your device brand and see if they offer such a service.
- Some cash, please - If you still have a working device, maybe just a bit dated, or you just recently upgraded, you could sell your mobile by searching the top recyclers which pay well for old iPhones on websites such as Freedom Mobiles. You can earn cash while making landfills more efficient by reducing e-waste in them. If a device is left unused for too long, the battery may leak, posing a potential health risk. When you sell your e-waste sustainably, you do the right thing while earning a little extra money for your efforts.
- Reinvent - You can get creative with this! If you lost your remote for your branded TV, you could use your iPhone as the new remote. Scared your child will mess with your settings on your new mobile when they want to play THAT game for the 100th time? Isn't it fun to let your child use the old mobile or tablet for entertainment? You can also use your old tablet as a pet camera when you are not home. It can be used as a designated baby monitor as well. Maybe you feel like jamming in the kitchen. You can turn your old tech device into your designated music player.
- Dispose of ethically - If your tech item has completely broken with a screen that looks like a spider's web and you can't find a use for it, be responsible and take it to your local e-waste depot to dispose of it. You won't get paid for it, but your emotional currency will have a top-up for doing good.
According to BBC News, the world's e-waste will continue to grow by an expected 8 percent each year. Whether you donate technology, sell your mobile device, or recycle it by finding a new use for it, you are honoring the three R's of recycling: recycle, reduce, and reuse. It's time to keep things green.