Each year, the staunch activist group Greenpeace lays out their Guide to Greener Electronics, which is
an evaluation of how technology companies have or haven't made their products
and services green and sustainable. This year, the guide evaluated 15 different
firms based on their carbon footprints. Notably, none of the firms scored above
a 6 out of the 10 maximum, signifying that most the companies still have a long
way to go before they can be ‘completely green.’
The criteria for the rankings include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, eliminating
hazardous substances, recycling used products, and using sustainable materials
in their operations. In the last three years, Nokia has taken the green crown
but HP was dubbed as the greenest tech company, scoring a 5.9 out of 10.
Dell, which has vowed to cut 40% of their emissions cut by the end of the
decade, moved up 8 places on the list to come in second. While HP hasn’t produced
as many energy-efficient computers, TVs, or mobile phones as Nokia, it scored
highly on an array of sustainable business operations that were meant to
minimize the carbon footprint of its manufacturing suppliers.
Global Problem with Waste
Electronic waste is one of the biggest problems that affects not only America,
but also the rest of the world. A lot of people don’t realize just how big of
an impact this has on the environment. The fact of the matter is that electronics
(or the parts that make them up) are full of toxins, and simply throwing them
out will have detrimental impacts on the natural world. The good news is that electronics can easily be recycled, and oftentimes,
they can also be reused.
Using ‘Em Yet? Then Consider Storage
If you have a number of electronics that
you simply don't know what to do with yet, then you can store them instead
while you decide. This is especially true if your electronics are still in
decent shape and you don't want to get rid of them. Self
storage units don't need to be expensive, and you can typically access
them whenever you want or need to, at any time of day. Putting your electronics
in storage can give you a chance to figure out what you'd like to do with them,
which is better than throwing them away or having it recycled.
the Recycling Bin
When they reach the end of their usable
life, some electronics stop working like they’re supposed to. While it can be
tempting to just throw these away in the trash, you’ll be doing the environment
(and everyone in the world) a huge favor by dropping these items off at a
recycling station instead.
Most cities nowadays have recycling programs that
deal with electronic waste. If you’re not sure what you’re supposed to do, just
ask the staff for help and assistance in finding a safe and effective way to
recycle your electronics. Some grocery stores and retail outlets also put out
special recycling bins where you can drop off old smartphones and tablets that
you want to recycle.
You can also opt to salvage your old
electronics for usable parts and components as well, if this course of action
seems more appealing to you. It’s plausible that some of your old electronics still
contain materials that can be salvaged and reused, even if the device as a
whole isn’t working anymore. You may even be able to sell these salvage parts
to a local shop that specializes in fixing and refurbishing computers and
mobile devices. Be sure to work with a professional who knows the ins and outs
of electronics in order to determine if your potential e-waste might actually
A little bit goes a long way. Let’s all
do our part in greening up our electronics and disposing of e-Waste responsibly
for a better, brighter, and greener future.