Earth Day 2022
Best practices for our at-home e-waste
- 40% of young people feel pressure to upgrade their phones annually
- Brits have a whopping 55 million unused mobile phones hidden away in drawers and cupboards
- In 2021 alone, over 38 million tons of electronic waste had been “thrown out”
Earth Day, which takes place on 22nd April, marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. It celebrates the importance of recycling in preserving our natural resources and securing the future of our planet.
E-waste is one of the fastest-growing types of waste universally. In 2021 alone, over 38 million tons of electronic waste had been “thrown out” worldwide. Now, there are health concerns over the way it is disposed of. With a lack of proper waste management, electronics are often burnt, resulting in soil, water, and food contamination.
Earth Day is a vital awareness day for Brits, and the UK is one of the biggest producers of e-waste globally. Phones, televisions, earphones and tablets are just scratching the surface. This comes as no surprise to us at Envirofone, as many of us are inclined to replace phones and tablets because new ones are released every year.
Since 2005, Envirofone has advocated for ways to reduce E-waste, and we are one of longest-running mobile phone recyclers in the UK.
We are calling on Brits to look at alternatives to simply discarding items and buying brand new ones. From trading in or buying, refurbed and second-hand electronics can make small changes to their shopping habits to save the environment.
We have compiled stats on our most thrown away items, phones and tablets and we have provided some top tips on best eco practices and alternatives to throwing them out.
Smartphones and Tablets
Smartphones also contribute to approximately 10% of global e-waste, and it was estimated to weigh more than 50 million tons in 2019. Research has found that Brits have a whopping 55 million unused mobile phones hidden away in drawers and cupboards between us.
This shows that even if we haven’t disposed of our preloved items, many of us are losing money from hoarding perfectly useable mobile phones and frequently upgrading to brand new ones, as 40% of young people feel pressure to upgrade their phones annually.
18.2 million brits owned an iPad in 2020 alone, which means there’ll be even more users now. Unfortunately, there will be even more wastage from those inclined to upgrade regularly or dispose of their tablets incorrectly.
Best Practices for used mobile phones and tablets
Trade-in your phone or tablet: Mobile trade-ins are one of the easiest ways to recycle your phone or tablet. At Envirofone, we will pay you for your used phone and tablets, even if they are faulty. It’s an easy way to make quick money and do good for the planet. An iPhone in reasonable condition could earn you up to £265.
Buying secondhand: When upgrading, buying a secondary phone makes sure that you’re not adding to the demand for brand new items. Keeping used mobile phones and tablets in circulation for as long as possible is the most sustainable way to upgrade, and it’s cheaper too!
Alternative uses for used phones and tablets
In-Car GPS: GPS drain’s phone’s battery. So, it can be a good idea to give your old phone a position in your car for things like Google Maps.
A control panel for smart-home tech: This is one of the best new lives for an older phone. You can use a designated old phone to control your Amazon Alexa, smart lightbulbs, and music. It’s more like a made-to-measure smart-home controller.
Alternative uses for Laptops
Like our phones, it can feel like we must replace our laptops every couple of years to keep up with tech.
Recycling: donate to e-waste charity: Arrange a collection of any electronic waste with your local charity that specialises in e-waste. They accept computers, laptops, telephones, mobile phones, iPad, tablets, etc.
Paying for a repair before considering replacing: Paying for a repair could save you hundreds of pounds. Thanks to the internet, you can sometimes diagnose what’s wrong with your laptop before throwing it away, meaning that many problems are usually fixable.
Alternative uses for a laptop:
Convert It into a Gaming Server: If your old laptop is still working, you can convert it into a gaming server. Usually, when you’re playing multiplayer games online, you connect to a server managed by the game manufacturer, which handles connections with other players.
Use It as an External Monitor Screen. This could be useful if you’re writing a report or essay and you need to look at references and information on another screen constantly.
Denise Timmis, Brand Manager at Envirofone, said,
“Days like Earth Day are a reminder for all of us to keep on incorporating little changes in our routine, and people more than ever are looking for alternatives to buying new. The hyperawareness of our climate footprint is definitely contributing to this shift in mindset in a lot of us.
Whether donating items to charity, buying second-hand, fixing things yourself, or even simply learning how to recycle specific items properly, these small things can significantly impact the long haul. Additionally, businesses like ours play a vital role in this change, where customers can trade in unwanted items for cash and buy refurbed electronics such as phones and laptops.
We, on average, have over £800 of unused tech in our homes. Not only can people make and save money from changing their buying habits, but the environmental benefits of doing so are undoubtedly a bonus. Just last month, the average trade in value of products was £169.42.”
To put it simply, how we dispose of our unused electronics can affect the planet’s health — and ourselves.
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