Electronic waste or e-waste is growing rapidly as a result of the increasing number of electronic products on the market. With more electronic waste piling up around the environment, pollution such as toxic chemicals becomes a problem.
There is hope: Green electronics.
We will be explaining:
- What is e-waste?
- Green electronics: The benefits
- How to move towards a greener future
Let’s get started!
- 1 What is E-Waste?
- 2 What is Green Electronics?
- 3 Green Electronics Lower Pollution
- 4 Green Electronics reduce carbon emissions
- 5 Step Forward for a Greener Future
- 6 eCycle Florida will recycle your e-waste
What is E-Waste?
End-of-life electronics (e-waste) are electronics such as cell phones, laptops and gaming consoles that have been discarded or are no longer in use.
Every year there are 20-50 million metric tons of electronic waste generated. Most of this ends up in landfills in the US, but some of it is sent to landfills abroad.
Problem? The problem? The environment is also being negatively affected by e-waste that is not properly disposed of.
E-waste is polluting our soil, air, and water as it sits in landfills. Worse, our environment is exposed to harmful chemicals because of the common method used to extract valuable metals.
Common components of E-Waste
Electronics are generally broken down into two types: plastic and metal.
Most metals can be recycled and reused easily, but many plastics used in electronics are toxic materials that cannot biodegrade.
Additionally, even though metal components can often be recycled, they end up in landfills and release toxins into the atmosphere.
How can we address this dangerous problem? The solution is easy: green electronics
What is Green Electronics?
Electronics that are sustainable, and recyclable are called green electronics.
Biodegradable is usually thought of as banana peels and apples. It’s something that dissolves and disappears after a few weeks. However, you don’t want your iPhone to become mushy in your pocket.
However, green electronics are durable while in use and biodegrade at the end of their lives.
Electronics made with sustainability in mind
Electronics produced through environmentally-friendly processes are Green electronics. They consider both the production and consumption of energy.
Recycled materials make green electronics less invasive.
Why should we switch to green electronics?
Green Electronics Lower Pollution
We need green electronics to avoid widespread pollution caused by electronic devices.
Properly disposing of e-waste means removing non-degradable materials to reach valuable metals. Acid baths and open burning are two examples of these harmful processes. This releases chemicals in the air, which then seep into our rain clouds.
According to the World Health Organization, pollution causes approximately 4.2 million deaths each year.
Over time, e-waste left in landfills releases chemicals into the soil. This eventually reaches our oceans and our drinking water.
Toxic Chemicals in E-Waste
Electronics can contain toxic substances that can cause health problems.
Some examples include:
- Brominated Flammable Retardant
- Perfluorooctanoic acid
- Polyvinyl Chloride
These chemicals can cause neurological damage, difficulty breathing, cancer, miscarriages, among other health problems. This is why it is important to switch to green electronics and properly recycle e-waste.
Green Electronics reduce carbon emissions
You can reduce the energy consumed and carbon emissions by switching to green electronics.
Most precious metals, such as iron and aluminum, are not renewable. Not only do we endanger the environment by not reusing metals, but they also require a lot of energy to mine these materials.
Manufacturers could cut carbon emissions by using recycled resources.
Step Forward for a Greener Future
If we want to ensure that our grandchildren and children have a clean and healthy future, the planet cannot take more damage. It is our responsibility as humans to make the world a better place than it was when we entered it.
What steps can you take for a better future?
To reduce e-waste, and to reduce pollution, environmentalists recommend the following:
- Prioritize Before you buy the latest electronic advertisement, ask yourself “Do I really need it?”
- Take care of Your Electronics – Work to prolong the life expectancy of your electronics.
- Buy Green- Many electronics manufacturers are starting to make green electronic products. Look out for those labeled Energy Star and Electronic Product Environment Assessment Tool (EPEAT).
- Manufacturing green – Government makes every effort to make manufacturing green electronics more beneficial for everyone. So take advantage!
- Recycle E-Waste Properly – If you have any electronics you don’t want anymore recycle them with an environmentally-friendly facility
Every step you take to reduce e–waste is a step closer to a more healthy planet.
Manufacturers encouraged to produce green electronics
The government and environmental groups, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, encourage manufacturers to create safer, more toxic electronics that have a longer life span and are easy to recycle.
Although most manufacturers agree that going green is the best thing for the economy, many aren’t sure how to go about it.
Once plastics are solved, there isn’t much more that can be done to reduce e-waste. Metals found in electronics are extremely recyclable. Some metals can be recycled up to 95%.
Consumers asked to step up
Although most of the pollution is caused by the production of unsustainable electronic devices, there are still ways we can help as consumers.
You can help the environment by being aware of your electronic habits.
What can we do while we wait to see more green electronics manufacturers?
eCycle Florida will recycle your e-waste
You can also help reduce your carbon footprint by recycling electronics with eCycle Florida as a business owner or citizen.
Recycling your e-waste with a trusted facility helps keep it out of landfills, and reduces its negative impact on the environment.
eCycle Florida is a trusted expert in recycling and managing e-waste . We will recycle your unwanted equipment responsibly and sustainably.
This post was written by Steven Elia Co-Founder and Recycling Director at eCycle Florida. eCycle Florida is a R2 Certified electronics recycling company in the state of Florida. Our processes and procedures are dedicated to the proper destruction and recycling of your electronics. eCycle Florida is your go-to for commercial electronic recycling.