Challenge #30 ~ eWaste

Read the blog post on the September Theme – TECHNOLOGY

Photo by Fancycrave.com from Pexels

So far this month’s challenges have talked about how to buy (Challenge #27) and use (Challenge #28) technology more sustainably. But, what about when we’re done with it? See this month’s blog to find out why this is important and read on for what to do about it.

Our computer or phone is getting slow. It’s time for a new one. Let’s think about this. Electronics contain hazardous materials, which can adversely affect the environment when not properly handled. Today’s tech becomes tomorrow’s electronic waste (eWaste), risking our health and that of the planet.

Fun Fact: One ton of printed circuit boards (as shown in this challenge’s image) has a higher concentration of precious metals than one ton of mined ore. 

Instead of throwing outdated devices away, try the following:

  • Buy Smart
    Follow the steps in Challenge #27 to purchase tech that will last longer, saving money in the process.
  • Upgrade
    Perhaps all our device needs to get a new lease on life is a battery, or a checkup by a local tech pro. A simple solution can save money in addition to keeping old technology from polluting our environment.
  • Find an old device a new home
    While we may have outgrown the device, it may be perfect for someone else’s use. Take advantage of the many swap and sell Facebook groups to find a new owner for old(er) tech.
  • Recycle old devices
    Instead of throwing old devices in the trash, responsibly recycle that eWaste. Not only will we keep our old tech out of the landfill, but properly managed eWaste provides materials for manufacturing, reducing the need to mine precious metals and other eWaste components from the natural environment. 
Olympic medals are even being made out of metals mined from eWaste.

eWaste collection opportunities have been gaining traction in Qatar. An eWaste event sponsored by Qatar Foundation in Education City last April was so successful –  collecting around 4.5 tons of eWaste – that it will become an annual drive. Look for it in the first quarter of 2020.

This challenge supports Sustainable Development Goals 3: Good Health and Well-being, 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, and 13: Climate Action.

You, too, can help the environment, one old device at a time.

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