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Sustainability 101: What Can We Do About E-Waste

In this instalment of our Sustainability 101 series, we will learn about what we can realistically do about e-waste we are generating at alarming rates. If you haven’t read our previous post about e-waste and their environmental impact, stop what you’re doing, read up on it and come back here.

First things first, DO NOT throw your e-waste in the trash along with your dry and wet waste. Electronics need to be stored and disposed of separately. Do your research and once a couple of months, drop off your e-waste at proper facilities. Some places even offer pick up services of larger electronic waste equipment. Apart from this, here are some other things you can do.

1. Repair

Throwing away your gadget should be your last option. Instead of buying a brand-new gadget, see if you can get the old one repaired. Chances are, you will be able to get them fixed. Many cities come with repair shops that are thankfully not yet extinct.

2. Learn The Skills

If there’s a life skill that will come in handy no matter where you are, it’s knowing how to repair a gadget. Read up about e-waste and look for workshops in your city and enrol yourself. You can even put it up in your CV so it’s a win-win situation whatever way you look at it.

3. Buy Second Hand

Where possible, buy second-hand. There’s plenty of stores selling perfectly working electronics that will work just as well as a brand-new product. Even popular e-commerce sites have joined the initiative in selling unboxed and refurbished products that are often cheaper as well.

4. Resell Your Electronics

The same platforms that sell pre-loved electronics will also buy your electronics. Some even offer to buy non-functioning ones that can be repaired. Take a look at your Facebook marketplace just see just how many second-hand products are up for sale, and how many prefer to invest in them over buying brand new products.

5. Donate

Many charitable institutions are in dire need of electronics they can’t afford. Donating to them will not only help out these non-profits, but it will also give you a chance to do your bit to practice RYTHM. Find out about non-for-profit institutions that may need your help or ask if anyone knows such a charity, and donate away!

6. Buy Environmentally Friendly Gadgets

While they could be of a higher price point, investing in eco-friendly electronics is the way to go. Energy-efficient and eco-friendly products lead you to great savings in the long run as well. Do read product descriptions and see what products are made from upcycled material, what products are easily recyclable and so on.

7. Recycle

If your electronics are unsalvageable, and this is obviously bound to happen at some point, take your electronics to a recycling facility where they can properly disassemble the products and recycle their parts. Because most electronics will emit toxins if improperly treated, it’s better to let professionals handle it. However, if you’re into DIY and upcycling, we say, go for it!

The next time you start to think about e-waste and the growing pile in your house or office (or that of your friends and family), think about all of the things you can do to help lessen your environmental impact. Let’s leave the world a better place than how we inherited it. Don’t forget to follow our Sustainability 101 Series and share it with all your friends and family. Let’s spread awareness!

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