How to Reduce Electronic Waste
Electronic waste is a growing problem. The manufacture of electronics uses rare materials that go into their production and takes a lot of energy. Minimizing e-waste helps to conserve resources and reduces the amount of energy we take from the earth. Reusing the precious metals and plastics in old cell phones alone instead of mining and making more of them would save as much energy as turning off the power to 24,000 US homes for an entire year.
The typical American household has more than 24 electronic devices and in the EPA estimated that there are 3 million tons of electronics ready to be disposed of – enough to fill five football stadiums!
How can you reduce your electronic footprint?
- Re-think. Do you really need that extra gadget? Try finding one device with multiple functions. Don’t replace your electronics until you absolutely need to.
- Extend the life of your electronics. Buy a case, keep your device clean, and avoid overcharging the battery.
- Buy environmentally friendly electronics. Look for products labeled Energy Star or certified by the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT).
- Donate used electronics to nonprofit programs—and help kids in need, the ABC Afterschool program, the school district, victims of domestic violence, community safety initiatives, environmental causes, and more.
- Resell or rehome your old electronics. Post on TVCR’s Teton Valley Free Swap site or other Facebook garage sale pages. Local thrift stores may also take your functioning electronics for resale.
- Recycle electronics and batteries at the e-waste recycling bin at the Transfer Station (green building). Large electronics (besides large tube televisions or monitors) and appliances can be recycled. Cell phones, printer ink, batteries, and other electronic waste can all be recycled at the Transfer Station. TVCR also collects batteries and printer ink cartridges at the Geo and other sites around town.
Be a thoughtful consumer when it comes to electronic gadgets. Don’t get caught up in the latest fad or the fastest technology. It often isn’t built to last like some older products.
And always be sure to properly dispose of your electronic waste – never toss it in the trash.