Did you know that 130 million cell phones get thrown out every year? How about computer monitors? Did you know that 50 million of these wind up in our landfills on an annual basis? It should make sense since technology is inventing newer and better cell phones and computers almost on a daily basis. You may have never thought about it, but when you replace your old computer with your new one, what happens to your old one? If it winds up in the garbage, it winds up in a landfill and becomes e-waste.
It’s not just about the devices either. It’s also about the power these devices use.
E-waste stands for electronic waste and here is how you can stop it.
Small ways you can stop being an e-waster
Recycle your cell phone. There are 500 million unused cell phones in the U.S. When you get a new cell, you have several options with what you can do with your old one. First, you could give it to someone you know who needs a cell phone. Second, you can donate. There are charities that give cell phones to those who cannot afford one for emergency purposes. Third, you can sell it to a third party recycler. The last two options usually allow you a tax write-off too.
Download your software. More than one billion computer disks are tossed into the trash each year. Consider downloading your software online instead. Sometimes it’s cheaper to download it online than it is to buy the CD and when you’re done downloading it, you don’t have any CD or CD packaging waste to throw away.
Use high-speed Internet service. High-speed Internet service uses less energy than dial-up. It’s the 21st century, people, make the switch from dial-up to high speed.
Laptops vs. desktops. Do you know how the U.S. could save £2.5 billion in energy costs? By switching from desktop computers to laptops. Laptops use less energy than desktops, by about 50%.
Email and text message. If you can send messages from your handheld instead of your computer, you’ll save about one-third of the electricity it takes for a computer to send these messages.
Switch from answering machines to voice mail. Voice mail service uses a lot less energy than the energy sucking answering machine that is always using energy. These little answering devices also end up as hazardous waste when we toss them in our landfills, so don’t buy them in the first place and then you won’t have to throw them out.
Use the sleep mode on your computer. Set up your computer so that when you’re not using it, it goes into sleep mode. This saves energy and can save you up to £75 per year off your power bill.
It’s not about changing your whole life. It’s about doing the little things that add up to big things. You can’t save the world, but you can contribute to helping save it by doing all of the little things you can.