Why Refurbished Electronics Are the Key to Sustainable Technology

Why Refurbished Electronics Are the Key to Sustainable Technology
March 4, 2022 Comprenew
refurbished electronics

From computers and tablets to smartphones and more, technology is a part of our everyday lives — there’s no getting around it.

Unfortunately, our increasing use of electronics is having a serious impact on our environment in the form of using up rare minerals, air and water pollution, high energy consumption, and landfills full of e-waste.

But there are ways to get the technology we need more sustainably — the easiest of which is to buy refurbished electronics. Refurbished smartphones, computers, and other devices allow us to continue using the technology we have become accustomed to while significantly lowering its environmental impact.

Reduces Our Reliance on Core Minerals and Plastics

The electronics we use every day require materials like gold, silver, silicon, lithium, and many more metals and rare earth elements, which all need to be mined from the earth. Some of these materials are in short supply, such as cobalt (used in lithium batteries), of which there is an estimated 40-year supply left. Needless to say, the mining of these materials has a huge negative impact on the environment.

In addition, manufacturing smartphones, computers, and other electronics uses huge amounts of plastic, which is often mixed with chemicals that make it only partially recyclable.

Refurbished devices reuse parts that have already been manufactured, reducing the need for additional core minerals and plastics.

Creates Less Air and Water Pollution

The mining of core minerals alone produces a significant amount of water pollution. The manufacturing process sends a ton of pollution into our air and water as well. In addition, many of the components used to make computers and other electronics are toxic, leading to polluted soil and water when they sit in a landfill.

Refurbished devices use recycled parts that are manually installed, producing much less pollution than manufacturing new ones or sending old equipment to the landfill.

Creates Less E-Waste

Old electronics are a major source of waste worldwide. And currently, less than 20% of this e-waste is recycled each year. The rest, unfortunately, ends up either incinerated or in our landfills.

Even worse? A huge part of this waste is preventable and is driven by the concept of obsolescence. There are two types of obsolescence — planned and perceived. Planned obsolescence is where devices stop working properly after a period of time due to incompatibility with new updates or wear and tear on components that are designed so that they can’t be replaced.

Perceived obsolescence is when we swap out our devices not because they no longer work, but because we want the newest version available. For instance, the average person gets a new smartphone every 2 years or so (other tech isn’t much better, at an average of 3-4 years), even though in most cases the older devices are perfectly functional and the new models have minimal changes.

There are two main ways we can all help reduce the amount of e-waste heading to our landfills each year:

  1. Wait as long as possible to replace your electronics. If they’re still functioning properly or can be repaired, hold off on buying a new one.
  2. When you do need to buy a new device, buy refurbished.

Buying refurbished helps reduce e-waste by keeping older electronics out of the landfill. Even better, when computers and other devices are refurbished, they are repaired to meet manufacturer standards and reconditioned to be nearly as good as new, giving old electronics a few more years of life.

Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

In addition to polluting our environment and adding needless waste to our landfills, the manufacturing of new electronics uses a lot of energy. For instance, it’s estimated that 90% of the total energy impact of smartphones comes from their manufacturing and distribution. From mining core minerals to the manufacturing process to the transportation of components and finished products, a significant amount of energy is consumed just to get a device on the store shelf.

Refurbished computers and other electronic devices reuse old parts, reducing the energy consumption needed to manufacture new ones. Because of this, the carbon footprint of these devices is significantly lower.

Looking To Buy Refurbished Electronics? Look No Further Than Comprenew

refurbished electronics

We offer a wide range of refurbished devices, including smartphones, computers, flat screen TVs, and more. Visit one of our retail locations or shop online to browse our selection of high-quality refurbished electronics.