With April now here it’s not just the start of Spring, it’s also Earth Month. Here at ServiceCentral, we thought this would be a great opportunity to highlight the challenges to sustainability facing the tech industry as well as some of the solutions that we and our partners have found to overcome those problems. We’ll be spending the month talking to partners and employees about what sustainability means to them and how each of us can do our part to ensure there’s enough earth for everyone to enjoy!
Perhaps the biggest challenge the technology sector must overcome in terms of sustainability is e-waste. But what exactly is e-waste? The EPA defines e-waste as “electronics that are nearing the end of their useful life and are discarded, donated or given to a recycler.” In 2019, 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste was generated worldwide. That’s 118,167,782,080 pounds in one year. By the end of 2030 it’s estimated that figure will increase by nearly 30%, which means we’ll be looking at about 74.7 million metric tons generated and, if device lifespans aren’t extended it’s hard to imagine what that number might look like beyond then.
So, what can we do about it? The simplest and, perhaps, best solution is to more openly embrace repair and reuse. Extending product lifespans by purchasing protective cases, screen protectors, and not charging the battery overnight are all great first lines of defense. But, when something does go wrong, consider repair instead of replacement. Not only can it be easier on the earth, it may be easier on your wallet too! There is no shortage of qualified small electronic device repair shops across the country that are no more than a quick Google search away.
But that isn’t the only way for you to make an impact. Purchasing appliances and gadgets that are labeled Energy Star is another great way to minimize your footprint. Using old phones as GPS devices or security cameras, plus finding local causes like veterans or children in need are also great ways to ensure that your devices live on beyond their initial usefulness.
We have more Earth Month content on the way, including interviews with the Reverse Logistics Association and the Electronics Reuse Network. Plus, we’ll be talking to some of our own employees about how they minimize their carbon footprint and live more sustainably. Make sure to keep an eye on our social media channels so you don’t miss anything!
How much is