Properly Dispose of Electronic Waste: Tip for Sustainable Living

Therefore strive that your actions day by day
may be beautiful prayers.
……………………………………—‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Monthly tips about sustainable living are designed to inspire you to adapt them to your personal circumstances and locale and to help you generate other ideas about how to live a more responsible life, socially and environmentally. If we all pitch in by individually reducing our consumption and adopting a simpler life, we can collectively mitigate the severity of climate change, reduce human suffering, and keep the Earth a livable place for future generations.—CHRISTINE MULLER

Properly Dispose of Electronic Waste

Every choice a Bahá’í makes … leaves a trace, and the moral duty to lead a coherent life
demands that one’s economic decisions be in accordance with lofty ideals, that the purity
of one’s aims be matched by the purity of one’s actions to fulfil those aims.

………………….—Universal House of Justice, 1 March 2017

wrecked iphone - Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

As we saw last month, the environmental and social costs of electronics in their production phase are huge. This month we look at what happens to them at the end of their life. Electronics are often irresponsibly discarded in the trash and the toxic chemicals poison our water and food supply for decades to come. Televisions and computer monitors account for nearly one half of all e-waste in the US, yet only 17% of televisions are recycled in a safe manner.

So what can we do? If a device is broken, it is crucial to dispose of it properly. Finding a place that up-cycles electronics is the best, because they repair them and sell them for a second use. If that is not possible, it is imperative not to throw any electronics into the garbage. Bring your broken cell phones, computers, TVs etc. to an e-waste collection or recycling place.

If you have to buy a new electronic device, you can look for a product that is designed for upgrade, reuse, and recycling. “Extended producer responsibility” implies that producers take responsibility for the whole life-cycle of products. This last option though may still be very hard to find.

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PAST TIPS BY CATEGORIES

Food
Why Eat Organic?
Eat Lower on the Food Chain
Considering Social Justice in Making Food Choices
Give Up Bottled Water—Go Back to the Tap!
Eat Less Beef
Eat Food that is in Season
Avoid Food Waste

Home
Air Conditioning and Moderation
Avoid Plastics
Avoid Single-Use (Disposable) Items
Buy Clean Energy
Cherish your old cell phones and computers!
Clean Safely—Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Your House
Do a Home Energy Audit!
Go Solar!
Hang Your Laundry Out to Dry for the Children of the World
Programmable Thermostats
Properly Dispose of Electronic Waste
Recycle Right!
Save Money, Save the Planet by Insulating Your House
Search as Service on the Web (Use Ecosia and Plant a Tree)
Shower Less—Cleanliness in the 21st Century
Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
What is clean? How often should I wash my clothes?

Yard
Do Not Kill—Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Your Garden and Yard
Ethical and Easy Lawns
The Bees and We
The Joy of Gardening

Transportation
Car Pool

Do Not Idle Your Vehicle
Let’s Go for a Walk or Bike Ride or Car Pool to Meetings
Use a local Car-Share Service

Shopping
Avoid Excessive Packaging
Buy Second-Hand Clothing
Choose Reusable Shopping Bags

Purchase Mindfully—Do I Really Need it?
Save and Reuse your Produce Bags
Shop Locally, Support Local Agriculture
Shop Smart, Buy in Bulk

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