According to the World Economic Forum, more than 50 million tons of e-waste are produced each year. And, left unchecked, this amount could more than double to 120 million tons by 2050.
E-waste is a serious threat to our environmental viability and our public health. The toxic chemicals and heavy metals that go into developing electronics seep into the soil, pollute groundwater, and release atmosphere-warming hydrocarbons when burned (as they often are).
With so much at stake, environmentally-conscious do-gooders must be diligent and work to minimize their contributions to the e-waste crisis.
Luckily, it doesn’t take much to make a big difference in your e-waste footprint. In fact, we’ve identified five key ways you can be a part of the solution:
1. e-Educate Yourself:
Educate yourself on what gets put into your electronics. Doing some research about the raw materials used to manufacture your mobile phone or laptop helps you understand just how harmful those materials and toxins can be if they’re tossed into a landfill. Solving the e-waste crisis is only possible if we understand the scale of its environmental impact.
2. To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade:
Consider whether or not you actually need that phone or computer upgrade. The longer you hold onto your current devices, the more electronics will be kept out of the waste stream.
3. Extend Your Devices’ Lifespan:
The way you take care of your devices on a daily basis makes a big difference in how well they work and how long they last. Practices such as unplugging a fully-charged computer, using a protective case, avoiding a full hard drive, and regularly cleaning your devices are helpful in expanding their lifespans. For more tips, check out this video.
4. Repurpose Before Recycling with human-I-T:
If the time comes to part with that old computer or phone, make sure to dispose of them responsibly by donating your e-waste to human-I-T. We will refurbish what we can, responsibly recycle the rest, and redirect thousands of devices away from landfills and into low-income households. Click here to learn how to donate your e-waste!
5. Make A Gift to human-I-T:
Every dollar you donate to human-I-T contributes to shrinking e-waste in landfills and growing a healthier, more sustainable community. Our team is committed to protecting the planet, and closing the digital divide by empowering underserved communities with technology, internet access, and digital literacy training. Click here to make your contribution!
Together we can solve the growing e-waste crisis, but only through the repeated, small actions of individuals like you.
We hope you’ll join us in this fight.
Our planet, and its inhabitants, are counting on it.