We have all heard many times that we should try not to waste things like food, electricity, water, and time. However, many people waste something that we don’t always talk about — space! And while we are all home pretty much 24/7, why not see where you might be able to free up some space? Maybe you can create more room in your home for your “office” or for the kids’ “classroom.”
How many spaces in your home are filled with things that you no longer use because they have been replaced or are broken? How many of those things wasting space are electronic gadgets and their various parts? We are helped and entertained by many electronic devices, such as computers with their keyboards, printers, mice, and monitors, game systems and controllers, e-readers, tablets, music players, cell phones, DVD players, laptop computers, earbuds, and speakers. But how about when they no longer entertain us? That’s when they become “e-waste.”
When you replace older electronics with the newest models or because they have broken, you shouldn’t throw them into the trash. They contain harmful chemicals that can hurt our earth, but they also contain precious metals and plastics that can be recycled to save energy and resources that would otherwise be required to mine or manufacture them. The plastics, metals, and glass from old devices can be reused to make new ones. Even if you never throw your old electronics into the trash, you might have them piled on shelves or stuffed into drawers, wasting space that could be used for other things.
If you are no longer using an electronic device but it still works, consider giving it to a friend or family member, donating it to a charitable organization, or asking a parent to help you sell it. If it no longer works, maybe you could try fixing it. Check out IFIXIT where you can find instructions on how to fix many electronic devices. If you can’t fix it, be sure to recycle all of the electronics that your family no longer wants and can’t fix or give away. Check with your local solid waste authority about electronics recycling in your community. And read E-cycle: Know Why, Know Where for more information.
Recycling electronics ensures that hazardous materials, such as lead and mercury, are safely managed. It also conserves resources, recaptures useful metals, reduces pollution, saves energy, and helps create jobs! Plus, moving them out of your home will give you some space!
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