Electronic waste is often full of hazardous materials and chemicals. If we’re not careful, electronic waste will have a disastrous impact on the environment. This blog post looks at four different ways you can mitigate your e-waste.
1. Why Is Managing E-Waste Important
If we’re not careful, e-waste will become a problem that’s going to have a disastrous effect. Countries like India are growing their e-waste a whopping 30% per year. Improperly recycled electronics often end up in mountains of garbage in third world countries where there aren’t enough resources or skilled workers to handle the waste.
Not only is e-waste harmful to the environment, but it also has a disastrous effect on our health. E-waste is known for triggering asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. E-waste also contains high levels of lead, cadmium, and mercury, which are detrimental to the environment.
We need to be proactive with e-waste before it becomes a problem we can’t handle. Managing your e-waste at work and home contributes significantly to our ability to protect the environment from old electronics. Let’s look at some tips you can use to manage e-waste.
2. Organize Your Electronics
Keeping your electronics organized is an excellent way to cut down on waste. Electronics pile up over time, and it’s common to have a bunch of monitors and keyboards you’re not using laying around. Keeping your electronics area organized helps make it easier for you to identify unused electronics and take the appropriate methods to deal with them. Instead of buying multiple HDMI cords, keyboards and flash drives, try and share them with your family or your fellow employees. E-waste has a lot of potential for reusability, so it’s important to take advantage.
3. Back Up Your Data Before Recycling
Simply deleting items into your recycling bin isn’t even to protect your data. To prevent people from repurposing your old flash drives and hard drives you need to ensure everything is permanently deleted. Information such as your full name, contact information and other personal information may still be present on your device. Ensuring your data is permanently deleted is especially important for companies who have sensitive client data on their machines. Most businesses opt for hard drive destruction, which is a permanent solution.
In order to render the data on your drive unreadable, you need to use a data erasing program. Programs like Nuke allow you to overwrite the data on your drive making it impossible for hackers to access anything. For additional security, you can even encrypt your files before permanently deleting them. This way even if someone were to repurpose the drive, they would still need to break the file encryption.
4. Give Away And Donate Old Devices
Before going for hard drive destruction, think about donating your old items. Electronics are in high demand when it comes to donation items. There are many charities, nonprofit organizations, and community organizations that can make excellent use of your old electronics. Donating your e-waste is an excellent way to contribute to the small business community in your city. Hospitals and programs that help children are also often in need of computer equipment and other electronics. Donating your e-waste is one of the best ways you can put it to use and keep it out of landfills.
5. Get Familiar With The Regulations For Recycling Electronics In Your Area
Certain electronics like rechargeable batteries contain hazardous materials and must be dealt with appropriately. Get in contact with your local e-waste recycler to find out the best practice for dealing with hazardous items in your area. You can find e-waste recyclers through the Basel Action Network (BAN). Recyclers certified with BAN ensure your electronics are properly disposed of with minimal impact on the environment.
Following these tips will help you contribute to the fight against e-waste on a personal level. By organizing your electronics, reusing when possible and making a habit of donating, you make a significant contribution to a positive way of managing electronic waste.