Eco-Conscious Advice for Gadget Geeks on Earth Day

ewaste recycling earth day

Cohere is home to lots of geeks. We geek out about libraries, art, blogging, research, and coding. We geek out about technology big time, and are always showing off our new gadgets.

As Earth Day will soon be upon us, however, it’s important to think about the eco-impact of all those gadgets. In our haste to own the smartest and fastest devices, the average American discards about 65 pounds of e-waste every year. Not only does this consume a staggering amount of natural resources, but every gadget that ends up in the landfill sends heavy metals and other health-threatening toxins into our air, soil and water.

But here’s the good news: E-waste recycling rates, especially of our beloved mobile phones, are on the rise.

The Third Annual Report of the eCycling Leadership Initiative, was recently released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). This research found that e-cycling in the U.S. increased by 35 million pounds last year (to 585 million pounds). That’s more than twice the amount we recycled in 2010 (300 million pounds)!

Recycling just one cell phone saves enough energy to power a laptop for 44 hours, keeps harmful toxins out of the environment, and closes the loop by putting gently used smartphones back on the market for someone else to enjoy.

So if you’ve got old gadgets knocking around in drawers and on shelves, this is the time to seek out a responsible recycler. Best case scenario, you walk away with cold hard cash in your pocket. Worst case, your old phone is refurbished and sold to someone else who can use it, or broken down into its most basic elements and used to create something new.

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Top image via keoni101