Ways To Reduce Our Overconsumption of Modern Technology

Ever-developing technology is unstoppable. Because of the growing demand for innovative inventions that help to make life easier, millions of gadgets and appliances are manufactured every day. Hence, what's considered as the modern equipment of today gets outdated quickly and is replaced by an upgraded, newer, trendier version.

While there's nothing wrong with adopting new technology to improve one's lifestyle, improper disposal of old cellphones, laptops, televisions, and other electronic products can lead to the dramatic increase of e-waste thrown in landfills. Electronic waste, or e-waste, may contain toxic chemicals such as cadmium, mercury, lead, flame retardants, and chlorofluorocarbons that may have harmful effects in our environment.

What's more alarming is that e-waste not only destroys mother nature, but also it has deadly effects for humans. When these chemicals seep from landfills, they may contaminate the water system and produce toxic effects to health. Unfortunately, the damage can be hard to control and it may take years to get rid of the contaminants.

Ways to Prevent E-Waste from Piling Up
According to a study, tons of e-waste are being produced annually not only in the United States, but also in other countries around the world. Sadly, only 10 percent of disposed electronics are being recycled.

If we won't refrain from buying new and throwing old electronic devices, a few years from now our landfills will be filled with high-tech garbage that emits toxic chemicals that can poison us and our planet. To help minimize our production of e-waste, here are some tips on how we should reuse, reduce, and recycle our outdated gadgets.

1. Ask yourself if you really need a new device.
Most people tend to buy new gadgets because they think that their old devices are not trendy enough or not as good as the new products that just came out in the market. This is a common misconception, because some gadgets have hardware or software that can be upgraded to work up to par. Before you purchase a new gadget, consider updating the your gadget's operating system first.

2. Donate or sell your gadgets online.
In case your gadget is really outdated and nothing can stop you from buying a new one, instead of throwing it in the trash, you can sell it online or offer it to someone who's willing to use it. Either way will prevent you from adding to the current pile of e-waste. In turn, you can use the money from selling your gadget to buy a new one. You will not only be saving the planet, you will be easier on your wallet, as well.

3. Bring your gadgets to electronic collection centers.
If you think that your electronics can be recycled but don't have the capability or resources to do it, there are many companies (such as Apple, Best Buy, and Staples) that accept old electronic items purchased from them. Feel free to drop by their store and let them take care of your old gadgets and appliances for you.

4. Adopt a zero waste program.
If you want to go the extra mile and make a corporate commitment to a more sustainable way of running your business, you can start a Zero Waste program. Identify opportunities to prevent waste throughout your business, such as making informed purchases that prevent waste, as well as recycling and composting, and other implementing waste awareness initiatives that positively influence the operation of your company or organization. Developing a Zero Waste program that can cut waste and produce cost savings is quite the undertaking, and many companies do outsource the job to Zero Waste experts who are equipped to support your smart environmental initiatives.

5. Help increase awareness.
Many people throw their electronic waste in the trash without having second thoughts probably because they are not fully aware of the consequences. They do not know that their actions contribute to the pollution caused by e-waste congestion in landfills and the increased load on mining, manufacturing, and transporting of new electronics. By educating other people of the detrimental effects of e-waste on our environment, you can help spread awareness and reduce unnecessary waste production.

Marie Miguel ([email protected]) is an avid Internet researcher. She is fueled by her determination to answer the many questions she hasn't been able to find the answer to anywhere else. When she finds these answers, she likes to spread the knowledge to others seeking help. She is always looking for outlets to share her information and therefore occasionally has her content published on different websites and blogs. Even though she doesn't run one for herself, she loves contributing to others.

Posted by Marie Miguel on Feb 09, 2016

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