Each year, the world produces mountains of e-waste, weighing in at over 60 million tons a year. As we continue to incorporate technology into every facet of our lives, that number continues to grow. As a result, figuring out how we reduce that e-waste becomes more and more important as the years go on.
Increasing the urgency to reduce our e-waste output is the toxicity of the equipment as it decomposes. Most electronics contain toxic chemicals and elements like cadmium, mercury, and other rare earth elements that can poison the soil, water, and air around their disposal site.
Recycling e-waste helps prevent this but reducing e-waste can also benefit the environment and, often, your wallet.
How to Reduce E-Waste at Home
When considering e-waste production at home, it’s likely going to come in the form of old computers, cell phones, tablets, and other small electronics. Whether it’s because the technology finally gave in, you’d like an upgrade, or simply don’t like it, there are easy ways to reduce your e-waste.
Delay Upgrades Until You Need Them
While phone companies are particularly guilty of incentivizing upgrades before they’re necessary, it’s always tempting to upgrade to the newest and fastest piece of technology.
Being patient when deciding when to upgrade, or using your device until its function deteriorates, is an easy and cost-effective way to reduce your e-waste.
Donate or Sell Old Electronics
If an old piece of technology is still working, but is no longer up to your standards, donating or selling it is a fantastic option. However, make sure you wipe all your data off the device with data destruction software or factory reset to protect your private information.
Return Them to a Participating Store or E-Recycling Center
Many big box stores, most notably Best Buy, offer complimentary or low-cost e-recycling for household electronics.
Taking your old devices here, or to a local E-Recycling center like ShredTronics, can ensure that your old devices are recycled properly and don’t contribute to the growing e-waste problem.
How to Reduce E-Waste at Work
Audit Your Technology Usage and Policies
For most industries, operating without technology isn’t even worth thinking about. However, thinking about how your company works with technology is important.
An audit to determine what is necessary technology-wise can help save you on costs. Additionally, it ensures that you aren’t purchasing useless technology that will go to the waste bin.
When Upgrading or Replacing Technology, Partner with an E-Recycling Facility
With tens, hundreds, or sometimes thousands of computers to replace, taking them to a local Best Buy is unfortunately not going to cut it.
Instead, partner with a local e-recycling facility. Most will offer bulk discounts and can transport the old equipment to the e-recycling facility for you. A bonus of this method is that you can ask for an e-waste certificate of destruction. This is beneficial for verifying your company’s sustainability and security practices.
How to Help Others Reduce E-Waste
Help Spread the Word about E-Recycling
Only 15-20% of e-waste in the United States is recycled. However, a significant percentage of that is a lack of awareness. Inform your friends, family, and colleagues about why it’s important, and how easy it is to do. It can go a long way in raising e-recycling rates and reducing e-waste.
Teach Your Kids About the Importance of E-Recycling
Younger generations use far more technology than in the past. A 2020 survey found that nearly 60% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers did not know the impact that E-Waste has on the environment.
Most parents already teach their children about the importance of recycling, and e-recycling should be no different.
Reduce Your E-Waste with ShredTronics
ShredTronics helps consumers and businesses reduce their e-waste through convenient and affordable e-recycling. Give us a call at (844) 648-4908 or fill out the form on the page. We’ll ensure any e-waste you have is recycled sustainably and securely.