You may be familiar with the phrase “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” What you may not realize is that this waste management mantra is ordered by benefit to the environment. Repairing your damaged electronics is the most environmentally conscious choice because it reduces the overall waste ending up in our landfills.
Recycling has become a widespread household standard. More than 94% of American households realize that recycling is better for the environment and more than 80% participate in a recycling program.1 However, as this Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) statement points out, preventing waste in the first place (via repair and reuse) is preferable to any waste management option, including recycling:
We strongly support keeping used electronics out of landfills, to recover materials and reduce the environmental impacts and energy demands from mining and manufacturing. Electronics are made from valuable resources, such as precious metals, copper and engineered plastics, all of which require considerable energy to process and manufacture. For your computer, laptop or smart phone, consider repairing the hardware instead of buying a brand new product.2
Repair Your Smartphone or Tablet for These Environmental Benefits
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions – Less manufacturing of full electronic devices means lower factory emissions (smaller carbon footprints).
- Reduced pollution – Electronic devices include hazardous chemicals such as lead, nickel, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. Repairing your smart device keeps those toxic chemicals out of the waste stream for a longer period of time.
- Energy savings – Manufacturing and even recycling smart phones and tablets requires significantly more energy than repairing broken ones.
- Resource conservation – Extracting fewer raw materials from the earth helps alleviate the environmental impact of the new product manufacturing process.
1 Glass Packaging Institute study via Newton Marketing Research http://www.gpi.org/
2 EPA Resource Conservation – eCycling http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/ecycling/