Learn why going refurbished is not only good for your wallet – but may help protect our environment.
How often do you think about what goes into making that new iPhone or laptop that just hit the shelves?
Do you consider the piles of discarded chargers and cords stuffed in your drawers from devices past?
Most of us are guilty of not thinking about the raw materials, energy, and waste created to manufacture the shiny gadgets we love. We just bask in the convenience of the latest features and upgrades – while those unused pieces and parts pile up.
Our obsession with the “new new thing” comes at a huge yet hidden environmental cost. E-waste is now the world's fastest-growing domestic waste stream. The production cycle behind our devices requires extensive mining, chemicals, water, and transport across global supply chains.
Choosing refurbished over new is a meaningful way to vote for sustainability in a sector that desperately needs it. Read on to learn just how large tech’s footprint really is and why giving refurbished gadgets “new life” benefits both people and the planet.
The Growing Crisis of E-Waste
Our desire for the shiniest new devices has created a global e-waste epidemic. Over 50 million metric tons of electronic waste was generated worldwide in 2019 alone. To put that into perspective, that's heavier than every commercial aircraft ever built combined!
And where does all this e-waste end up? Less than 20% of e-waste is formally recycled. Much of it is shipped to developing countries where unprotected workers, including children, disassemble tech components. This exposes them to over 1,000 toxic substances, including mercury, lead, and arsenic. Even when e-waste avoids informal recycling channels, the proper recycling of lithium-ion batteries and complex components remains a major challenge.
Runoff from these toxic disposals leads to severe environmental contamination, impacting land, water, and human health. Defective or recalled electronics are often tossed together with household waste bound for landfills or incinerators. These facilities are not equipped to handle the hazardous byproducts created when electronics decompose or burn, further polluting soil and air.
It's clear that the linear production-use-disposal model of electronics is environmentally unsustainable. So what's the alternative?
The Footprint Behind New Tech
Let's consider what goes into making some of our favorite gadgets in the first place. The natural resources and emissions involved are immense – from mining rare earth metals and assembling components to shipping parts through vast supply chains.
Supplying materials and manufacturing to produce an average laptop requires 1,500 liters of water and 240 kilograms of fossil fuels. The production emissions equivalent would allow you to drive a car over 1,000 miles. Making a single smartphone generates an average of 85 kilograms of carbon emissions. That’s like burning over 60 pounds of coal!
Now multiply those footprints by the millions of devices produced globally each year. The picture becomes even more alarming. Collecting raw materials like cobalt, lithium, and copper destroys pristine habitats and exploits low-wage laborers. Plus, the energy consumed in manufacturing plants continues our reliance on nonrenewable power sources. High-tech facilities require billions of gallons of water to function.
You may love unboxing your latest gadget purchase. But consider the true costs incurred behind that factory-sealed wrapping. Going refurbished offers you the same functionality with a fraction of the eco-impact.
Why Refurbished is the Sustainable Choice
It’s time for our world to take the potential of refurbished technology seriously. Refurbished tech is used electronics thoroughly inspected, tested, and restored to like-new condition by professionals.
Faulty parts get repaired or replaced so the gadgets can meet rigorous quality standards – ensuring the devices are safe and ready for a new user at significant discounts compared to brand-new equivalents. And the benefits of going refurbished? They’re adding up.
You’ll Slash Your Carbon Footprint
Choosing refurbished over buying new prevents tons of future emissions. Studies estimate refurbished devices have around a 30-80% lower environmental footprint than manufacturing more units. Shorter supply chains and no mining or production processes result in major energy savings from transportation, materials, and manufacturing.
You Help Divert E-Waste from Landfills
Extending the usable life of already-made products through refurbishment keeps electronics functioning and out of landfills longer. Consumers get to enjoy extra years of use while reducing waste. It's a win-win for upgrading your tech sustainably.
You’re Conserving Resources End-to-End
The refurbishment of devices also conserves the extensive natural resources that went into making the devices originally - from raw materials to water and energy consumed in production. Purchasing refurbished maximizes using those embedded resources in gadgets that would otherwise get discarded.
Plus, buying second hand helps minimize the need for new manufacturing, reducing the overall ecological impact of electronics production.
You're Supporting a Circular Economy
By choosing to purchase refurbished electronics, you're contributing to a circular economy. This means that instead of following the traditional "take-make-waste" linear model of production and consumption, products are kept in use for as long as possible through reuse, repair, refurbishment, and recycling. By supporting this circular approach, we can reduce our reliance on extracting new resources and minimize waste.
You’re Saving Money
One of the most immediate benefits of purchasing refurbished electronics is the cost savings. Refurbished devices are often significantly cheaper than brand-new ones, making them a great option for those on a budget or looking to save some money. And since refurbished electronics have been tested and repaired if necessary, you can be sure that you're getting a high-quality product at a lower price.
It’s Time to Fight Back Against eWaste - Choose Refurbished!
The next time your old phone starts freezing up, or your laptop feels sluggishly slow, consider giving refurbished tech a shot before defaulting to buying shiny and new. Our collective obsession with the latest and greatest gadgets takes a punishing toll on the planet in terms of resources, energy, and electronic waste.
Choosing to have your devices professionally refurbished for reuse provides a reliable, affordable, Earth-friendly way to upgrade sustainably. You still get access to the features you rely on for work and play while diverting e-waste. Plus, you just might find yourself some savings in the process!
If you’re an Apple user, TekReplay is the trusted destination for getting your hands on thoroughly inspected and tested certified refurbished Macbooks, iPads, iPhones, and other Apple devices. Not only do we ensure every product goes through a rigorous renewal process, we back our devices with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
So, do yourself and the environment a solid by checking out the quality certified refurbished options available at TekReplay. Your tech habits impact further than you’d ever imagine, so make the switch that helps sustain our planet for generations ahead!