Local Electronics Recycling & 7 Other Ways to be a Better Consumer
It’s no secret that consumption is a big part of modern life. We’re all on the hunt for the newest gadgets, making last year’s completely obsolete. The big problem with that, though, is that many of us don’t dispose of our old electronics properly, leaving them to pile up in our homes or in landfills, potentially releasing toxins into our environment. That’s the primary reason why local electronics recycling is so important.
However, there are also other benefits to local electronics recycling you might not initially think of. Did you know you can sometimes even earn cash for computer scrap? It’s true! You just have to find the right local electronics recycling program.
We’ll take you through all of that, as well as other ways to make yourself a more conscientious and environmentally friendly consumer of electronics. Before we get into the specifics on how to use local electronics recycling and other methods to become a more conscientious consumer, we want to touch on why that’s such an important thing to do in the first place, and how it will benefit you personally.
Why is it important to be a green consumer?
We probably don’t need to convince you that trying to be as environmentally friendly with your purchases as possible is a great thing for the environment. Most everybody’s already aware of that at this point. What you might not be as familiar with, though, is the fact that you can personally benefit from being a greener consumer.
First of all, you’re going to save on your electric bill if you own more efficient products. They’ll use less energy, and therefore cost you less money. Plus, as we’ve alluded to already, you can sometimes get cash for computer scrap. Now, keep in mind that it’s not likely to be a big payday unless you have tons of old computers laying around, but you might get a little chunk of pocket change in return for your defunct computers. So, both of these points combine into a fairly strong financial case for local electronics recycling and prioritizing local electronics recycling.
Plus, products that are responsibly made won’t contain any harmful chemicals. Others might contain hazardous materials that can be toxic to both humans and our environment. You definitely don’t want to expose yourself or your family to any toxins, so it’s a good idea to make sure your electronics are rated properly and pass all the appropriate safety protocols.
So there. We’ve given you a couple good, selfish reasons to seek out green products and make sure they’re disposed of properly, just in case the general good of our planet isn’t enough for you. Whether you’re motivated by cash for computer scrap or preventing global warming, local electronics recycling is a good idea.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can get into all the different ways to accomplish those goals.
Local Electronics Recycling
We’ll start with the most obvious one. We’ve written extensively about the benefits of e-waste recycling in the past, so we won’t bore you with too many specifics here. Just know that it’s vastly more efficient to reuse the materials in existing electronics than to mine them. Plus, local electronics recycling keeps potentially toxic chemicals out of landfills. It’s by far the best way to dispose of old devices.
Buy greener products.
Now, this can’t always be helped, but when possible, look for energy use statistics and other details about the electronics you’re considering buying. You can prioritize purchasing products that are efficient and will last a long time. That way, finding local electronics recycling will be a ways off, and over time, you’ll have to get rid of your electronics much more infrequently.
Also, don’t disregard elements like packaging when figuring out the environmental impact of your electronics purchase. How much plastic they use to get the device to you as well as the fuel required to ship it both are huge environmental impacts you might not immediately think about.
An additional step you might feel compelled to take when going green is checking out used electronics. Refurbished electronics are a way to keep perfectly good parts out of landfills, and they’ll likely be easier on your wallet than buying new, too. Of course, you won’t get that sweet feeling of unboxing a brand-new laptop or whatever, but if you truly prioritize the environment, then you’ll probably find it’s worth it.
These steps will mean that getting cash for computer scrap is a long ways off, as it should be.
Prioritize renewable energy.
Energy is considered clean if it doesn’t emit any CO2. Those kinds of sources include solar, wind, and even kinetic energy. If you can use any of those energy sources to power your devices, then they’re going to have a much cleaner footprint over the course of their lives. Couple that with local electronics recycling, and you’re well on your way to minimize the negative impact of your devices.
To do this, you can look into installing solar panels at your house. If that’s not feasible, look into your options with your provider.
Does the manufacturer have a plan for properly disposing of their products?
Some companies will take back their products once they’ve reached the end of their usefulness. Then, they can either refurbish or recycle those defunct gadgets. Of course, if you take part in one of these programs, you won’t get cash for computer scrap, but they can still be a good option.
Another reason to opt for manufacturers that have an end-of-life plan for their products is to support eco-conscious companies. Buying from companies whose mission and methods you agree with is a great way to vote with your dollar.
Local electronics recycling centers won’t have to carry such a heavy load if more national companies will collect their own products for recycling, which is another element of the equation to keep in mind.
Hold onto your electronics for longer.
Sure, it’s tempting to upgrade your phone or computer each time a new innovation hits the market. But if you’re on a quest to be a more eco-conscious consumer, then you need to slow your roll a little bit.
Hanging onto your gadgets until local electronics recycling is an absolute necessity is one way to decrease the amount of electronic waste out there. Most of the materials can be reused, but that requires energy. It would be better all around if we just needed less of those materials.
One way to hold onto items for longer is by buying higher-quality goods upfront. Of course, this isn’t always feasible. Higher quality usually costs more money, and not everybody can afford to buy those pricey goods. It’s likely going to cost more in the long run for you to replace cheap toasters every couple years. So if you’re able to save up for a really nice electronic, do it.
Don’t be too eager to try to get cash for computer scrap — it might not actually be scrap yet. Decreasing the number of electronics we buy by holding onto our old ones for longer is a great way to be a more eco-friendly consumer.
See if your friends have electronic waste.
Rounding up e-waste with the intention of bringing it to a local electronics recycling center that’ll give you cash for computer scrap can be a great way to clean up your friends’ junk drawers while also doing the environment a favor. Much of the components of any electronic device can be reused in a new gadget. So if there are a bunch of old computers and monitors gathering dust in your basement, that’s perfectly good material going to waste. If manufacturers can’t reuse those materials, like copper or aluminum, then they have to mine them. That has a huge environmental impact.
Plus, if you’re looking to get cash for computer scrap, the best way to do that is in large quantities. One old tower isn’t going to get you much cash for computer scrap. So, asking the people in your life if they have any old computers you can take off their hands for them can be a good way to increase your margins. That is, if they’re okay with it. Many people just want the junk out of their houses, so they might not object to you profiting off their trash. Just check first if you’re worried. Cash for computer scrap is probably not your main motivation behind trying to be a better consumer, but it might be a nice little perk.
Make sure it really is local electronics recycling.
Having a clear idea of where your electronics are going after you’ve finished with them is what this point is all about. Overseas operations will take electronics for recycling. Lots of times, though, their processes are less regulated than ones here in the U.S. The workers dismantling your old electronics might be mistreated, and their methods might not actually be environmentally friendly. For example, burning up parts of the electronics to get at more lucrative components is somewhat common, and it can release harmful chemicals into the environment. That’s not cool, but it’s legal in some countries. So, if you stick to local electronics recycling, you’re more likely to be disposing of your old devices in the most ethical and eco-conscious way possible.
A lucrative cash for computer scrap deal might sound appealing to your wallet. But if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure you’re not getting that cash for computer scrap from an unethical company overseas.
Be mindful of your energy usage.
We’ve been over how to use cleaner energy, but it’s also important to reduce that energy consumption in general. This is especially true if the greener options aren’t available to you.
There are a lot of ways to cut back on how much electricity you use. One simple way to optimize your energy use is by plugging all your devices into a power strip with an on/off switch. That way, you can easily control when your devices are drawing power. The kind of power devices use when they’re just plugged in but not on is called stand by power, and its U.S. usage is estimated to run more than $11 billion annually.
You might have heard old advice to unplug chargers and devices that aren’t in use. While that’s still helpful, it’s just not as big of a deal anymore due to advancements in technology. It’s usually not worth all the hassle. However, it doesn’t hurt to unplug something simple that you’re not going to have to completely reset the next time you need to use it. Separately, this is a good idea from a fire safety standpoint — an unplugged toaster isn’t going to start a fire.
There are other things you can do to decrease your energy usage that don’t relate directly to the kinds of devices you’d bring in for local electronics recycling, so we’ll just ignore those for now. If you want to find out more, you can read more about energy savings here.
Now you can start working on your consumer habits.
Becoming a more environmentally conscious consumer isn’t something you do over night. It’s a never-ending process where you’re always reevaluating your efforts based on new advancements and new information. Local electronics recycling is always a good place to start, though. You’ll get a bunch of junk off your hands, and those materials can be reused in new, more efficient devices. It’s a win all around.
Local electronics recycling means you’re doing your part to become a more thoughtful consumer. But now you know you can see some personal benefits from the endeavor, like cash for computer scrap. Granted, it won’t be a lot of cash for computer scrap, but if you can round up some old computers, you might be able to get a little something in return.
But local electronics recycling is about so much more than getting a little cash for computer scrap. It’s about trying to ensure that our planet can sustain human life for as long as possible. Now that you’ve made it to the end of this post, you’re ready to do your part.