Are you looking to save the planet and purchase environmentally friendly electronics? You're not alone. A growing trend among consumers is to buy refurbished electronics. This article will reveal how you can make a difference.
Smartphones and their environmental impact
Global mobile phone maker Deloitte predicts that smartphones will cause 146 million tons of CO2 emissions. That is the equivalent of half a percent of global emissions in 2021 and worth trying to reduce.
Of these emissions, 83% come from producing and shipping new phones in 2022; 11% come from usage-related emissions during the year, and 4% from refurbishing existing phones. All together, this adds up to 100%.
The bulk of these emissions, 83% of the total, will come from manufacturing, shipping, and first-year usage; 11% come from usage-related processes during the entire year, and 4% come from refurbishing existing phones. All together, this adds up to 100%.
Mining Earth's Rare Minerals
Some of the rare minerals that are mined from Earth's crust can be found in recycled electronics. For example, gallium nitride (GaN) is used in high-definition television sets and lighting systems. GaN is challenging to extract from the ground, so recycling helps to ensure that it's available in sufficient quantities.
In addition to GaN, other materials that can be found in recycled electronics include indium gallium nitride (InGaN), germanium gallium nitride (GeGaN), silicon germanium (SiGe), and silicon carbide (SiC). All of these materials are used in telecommunications and solar energy applications.
What do you need to look for when buying electronics?
When shopping for recycled electronics, read the product labels carefully. Many products that are labeled as recycled contain harmful chemicals such as lead and mercury.
What is Carbon Footprint?
When we think about our impact on the planet, one of the first things that come to mind may be our physical footprint. Our carbon footprints measure how much CO2 we produce and release into the atmosphere.
A recent study by Eco-Cycle found that the average North American consumer has a carbon footprint of 6,069 pounds of CO2.
It means that if every American replaced just 5% of their electronics with recycled or refurbished products, it would have a significant impact on reducing our collective carbon footprint.
What is E-waste?
E-waste is a term for electronic products nearing the end of their life cycle. Computers, TVs, VCRs, stereos, copiers, and fax machines are just some examples of these products. Many of these products can be reused or repaired to extend their lifetime.
In the United States, almost two million tons of electronic waste are collected yearly. That's enough e-waste to fill up 1,000 double-decker buses!
Electronics are composed of many different parts, and when a product reaches its end-of-life, it can be challenging to determine which part should be recycled.
Some components, such as plastic casings and batteries, can be recycled many times, while Others, such as circuit boards, must be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. E-waste isn't just an environmental issue – it's also an economic one.
Recycling technologies have evolved over the years, making it easier and more cost-effective to recycle certain types of electronics.
How does recycling work?
The recycling process begins by removing the heavy metals and materials that are toxic to humans or the environment. Polluting particles created by this process are often reduced by 95 percent using state-of-the-art equipment. The cleanest materials are then turned into new products.
E-waste and Carbon Footprints Your New iPhone Produces
Do you feel guilty about leaving your old electronics behind at the recycling center? You’re not alone. The global e-waste industry is worth $37 billion, and it’s only going to grow.
Where is all of this garbage going? There are significant concerns about the unsafe handling of used electronics and e-waste, including the problems with open-air burning and acid baths that result in health risks for human beings.
For example, these practices can expose workers to chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. These can result not just in cancer but also in miscarriages, neurological damage, and diminished IQ.
Carbon Footprints in numbers
As mentioned in the Apple Product Environmental Report from September 2021, iPhones emit 64kg of CO2e. This figure was calculated precisely for models with a storage capacity of 128GB.
However, it's important to note that this total amount of emissions is generated using the Life Cycle Analysis method. In other words, it estimates all emissions an iPhone generates over its life cycle (from the extraction of raw materials to destruction).
To compare, models with a storage capacity of 128GB for iPhone 12 emitted 72kg CO2e.
How does your new iPhone create environmental waste?
The manufacturing process requires a lot of energy and resources. The raw materials used in electronic products are often toxic and environmentally hazardous, requiring unique disposal methods that generate greenhouse gases.
When these products are finally discarded, they create mountains of electronic waste that must be disposed of properly; otherwise, it contaminates soil, water supplies, and even human bodies.
How much water does it take to manufacture a new iPhone?
Many people don't think about how much water it takes to manufacture a new iPhone. A report from Forbes found that it takes 1,500 gallons of water to make an iPhone.
That's a lot of water to take out of the earth for something people will only use for a few months. Why not buy a refurbished phone instead? They are usually made with recycled materials and use less water to manufacture.
How can you save the planet by buying sustainable electronics?
Purchasing refurbished devices not only help the environment but also brings other advantages to the customers. Here are some examples:
- Affordable prices;
- Condition up to mark;
- No contracts;
Now you must be wondering what kind of precautions you need to take to ensure the electronics you are buying are sustainable without giving up on quality and fair prices.
When buying sustainable electronics, there are a few things to remember. First and foremost, make sure you choose products certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or by an independent organization like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Secondly, buy products from companies that recycle their electronic waste. And finally, consider buying refurbished electronics instead of brand-new ones.
How do you find a trustworthy vendor?
There are several ways to find certified sustainable electronics. The EPA has a search tool called the Green Choices Database that allows you to find products certified by various organizations.
Another option is to look for products made with recycled materials. Many online retailers offer a selection of certified sustainable electronics, and many brick-and-mortar stores also carry these products.
When it comes to recycling your electronics waste, there are several options available. You can either send your devices to a recycler or take them apart and recycle the parts. Many online retailers offer recycling services as well.
Give your phone a second life with Popsy
Are you looking to save some green while shopping for electronics? Popsy has got you covered! We offer refurbished phones and tablets certified by GSMArena.org, meaning they've been through a rigorous inspection and testing process to ensure quality and performance.
Plus, our devices come with a one-year warranty, 30 days of free returns, and free shipping! So what are you waiting for to learn more about our best deals with devices up to 70% off? Give us a try today!