If you reflect upon your lifestyle, you will realize that it has incredibly altered over the last decade. There was a time when a few megabytes of RAM would cost you a fortune, but the scientist and innovators worked hard to get us past that. Now we talk about gigabytes of RAM in something as small as a phone, which previously was just a tool to text and call. That’s not the only change you made; the number of electronic devices that you owned has increased exponentially as your dependency on technology increased manifolds.
From your fitness watch to your laptop, you have a tool encompassing almost every aspect of your life. However, after every few years, you tend to upgrade because that is the thing about technology; it never stays the same and keeps evolving. Consequently, the devices that were once very dear to you become replaceable, just like anything in our lives.
As life becomes busy, without our knowledge, we keep collecting clutter, and one day as we open our storage, an epiphany hits us. We all have a screenshot folder having hundreds of screenshots that need deletion, we have old clothes and shoes and now old devices. With time we start collecting all the past and defective devices, and now we are clueless about what to do with them, unlike the other objects mentioned.
Many city administrations now realize the need for a proper recycling mechanism to deal with all sorts of garbage. The city of Philadelphia was the first city in the United States to enact mandatory curbside recycling, and now many are stressing that the same needs to be done about Philadelphia electronics recycling. However, being concerned citizens, we should not wait for lawmaking and first act responsibly on our own. We should dispose of them correctly, so they do not end up in the oceans damaging aquatic life as other single-use plastic wastes do. To help you decide what to do with all the electronic junk, we have listed down a few things to give you an idea about your next course of action.
Give away or sell your e-waste
First, you should set aside all the working devices so you can sell or give them away. Yeah, you upgraded, but there are still people out there who are not fortunate enough even to afford the devices you do not use anymore. For instance, the world faces an immense refugee crisis, with many people uprooted from their homes and forced to flee. Many organizations are helping them rehabilitate in the new environment, and they will accept any help they can get. Look for such social work organizations and donate your old devices. On the contrary, you could also sell them and make a little money and also fulfill someone’s needs according to their affordability.
Learn about the recycling options
You should now recycle the rest of the devices which do not work or have no value to sell. Start searching for any recycling option in your locality. For starters, if you are a resident of the United States, you can visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website and find all the local electronics recycling options for your state. Recycling is important because it separates different types of material and then shreds for reuse. It not only saves precious resources but is also good for the environment.
Now that we have taken care of the existing e-waste, let’s focus on not repeating the same mistakes that we did before. We can start by buying only the items we need instead of trying to get every new gadget that is available in the market. The urge to keep up with the times is understandable, but one should also keep the ramifications of such actions in mind. You can start by asking yourself a simple question, how long will you use the device. If the answer is anything less than a few months, you should rather suppress your urge for the greater good.
Organize your stuff
The best way of creating awareness about what you have is by organizing everything you have. It is time to dig into that closet and find out all the old devices, wires, DVDs, and anything electronic and put it all in one place. It will ensure that the next time you are in a market, you do not buy stuff “just in case you might need them.” You will always know what you want, and this, in turn, will reduce your expenses.
Every object you buy that you already have somewhere in your house contributes to E-Waste. So, it is better to organize everything in a cabinet, to have the complete cognizance of affairs. Organizing will also help you in discarding and recycling those things that no longer work or serve any purpose, such as old chargers.
Use the cloud
Well, not literally, but we are talking about the cloud services that many companies provide. Instead of buying DVDs, USBs, and portable hard drives, you should make use of the cloud services wherever possible. Clouds are accessible to you 24/7, whether, on your phone or your laptop, all you need is an internet connection, which in today’s world is already a necessity. For instance, take the example of iCloud, which provides you a convenient way to access all your files on all your devices. You can shift most of the things to services such as iCloud or Google Drive and leverage their benefits. Scientists today are trying to find new ways to reduce the environmental impact of undisposed garbage; the least we can do to help is not to contribute to the trash.
Environmental protection is our duty as a dweller of the planet since pollution and its adverse consequences affect all of us. Instead of just putting stuff in a box and throwing it away, you should act responsibly and take actions that depict the character of a good citizen. It would be best if you locate anything that is still working that you do not need, and either sell or donate it. Afterward, you can recycle all the e-garbage through due process and organize the rest of the material, so you know what you own. It will help you reduce buying anything that you already possess and will consequently result in less e-waste. Most of the tips mentioned above are quite doable within the comfort zone with the motivation that you are doing nothing but helping the environment.
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