Billions of people around the world own at least one electronic equipment.
According to estimates, about 5 billion people own a mobile device. Of that number, more than half are smartphones.
In the United States, American think tank Pew Research reveals that 81% of adults own a smartphone as of 2019.
For years, you probably have accumulated quite a number of electronic devices at home and not just smartphones, but laptops and desktops, tablets, smartwatches, fitness trackers, game consoles, television sets, radios, etc. You cannot just toss them into the bin and let them end up in a landfill. These devices have toxic materials that may seep into the earth and make their way back to you via the water you drink or the food you eat. Your devices also contain materials from non-renewable sources and, therefore, valuable.
When you declutter at home, how should you properly get rid of these electronic devices without polluting the planet?
Sell the Parts
There are businesses that buy and sell components from your devices, so look for an electronic manufacturing equipment buyer in your state. They might be looking for parts that you otherwise would throw away.
This is a good way to earn a bit of cash for devices that cannot be repaired or would be too expensive to return to a usable condition.
Repair and Sell
Nowadays, people do not wait until their devices are no longer working before they buy a new one. When a new model is launched, consumers discard their current devices and buy the new one.
That means a lot of devices are still in good condition or have minor defects but, otherwise, can still be used. These devices can still be sold.
There are people who would be willing to take these devices off of your hands. Most of the time, buying secondhand is more affordable than purchasing a new unit in stores. Some people prefer used electronics as an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. There are also people who are collecting old devices because of nostalgia.
If you want to clear the clutter at home and help those in need at the same time, then why not donate your used devices to charitable causes. StRUT (Students Recycling Used Technology) is a program that enables students to enrich their skills by refurbishing used electronics that are donated to them. Komputers 4 R Kids aims to provide children of low-income families to technology by giving them electronic devices that they can use.
Bring the Device Back to the Manufacturer
Most electronic device manufacturers have programs that encourage consumers to surrender their used devices back to the store in exchange for credit. Verizon has a recycling program that accepts old mobile devices and netbooks. They will give you gift cards in return. Apple, too, has a trade-in program where you can get a discount for your next purchase. The company, however, only accepts certain devices. Samsung users can save up to $650 by bringing their devices back to the store.
The damage to the planet caused by manufacturing devices is immense. Further polluting the Earth by improper disposal of these devices is unforgivable.
You need to take responsibility for the devices that you buy and use by finding the best ways to get rid of them when you no longer need them.