What's The Deal With E-Waste?

I've always heard the term e-waste but I've never done much research on it before. So for your and my sake here is some information on e-waste that I found:

1. According to a UN report, we produce 50 million tonnes of electronic waste annually. This is more in weight than all commercial airplanes that have ever been made.

2. Only about 20% of e-waste gets recycled. 

3. The amount of e-waste produced each year sums up to more than $62.5 billion, which is more than most countries GDP.

4. When e-waste is warmed up it releases toxic chemicals into the air which damages the atmosphere. This being one of the biggest environmental impacts caused by e-waste. 

5. On the other hand, when e -waste is sent to the landfill it seeps into the groundwater which as a result affects the terrestrial and marine life. 

6. E-waste makes up for 2% of America's landfill trash and 70% of overall toxic waste. 

So what can we do to help? How can we prevent our contribution to e-waste? Well here are some tips to help you: 

1. Start recycling your laptops! If we recycled 1 million laptops we can save energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year

2. Really think about your next expensive electronic purchase, do you really need it? 

3. Look out for the 'Energy Star' label or gadgets that are Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) certified. 

4. Take care of your electronics so that you can extend its lifetime to the longest duration possible.

5. Re-sell and repurpose your electronics, this way you can either find another function for the same item or even get some money back in return. 

6. Look out for e-cycling centers around where you live, they're free and they can be found in almost every county! You can donate your electronic to these centers and they'll make sure to repurpose it for you. 

In the age of technology that is every growing it is so important that we take notice to how many electronics we are consuming. Especially now with new models coming out every year, it becomes easy to fall into the patterns of always "Wanting the newest model." Change comes from our consumer habits, so if you can change the rate at which you buy new fancy gadgets then perhaps we can reduce the amount of e-waste globally! 

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