Looking to outfit your business or dorm room with some new tech that can blow that older device out of the water? No worries because, with a little ingenuity, you can still be sustainable even when upgrading. With a little craftiness, there is nothing that old electronics can’t be useful for. So, here are five ways to be sustainable with your electronic devices.
- Get the better device – when upgrading, look for the higher-end solution. That way, when it comes time to upgrade again, you can outlast the competition while still demanding a higher return on your trade-in.
- “Trade in” your device – Okay, so this isn’t really trading it in, but sourcing from refurbished equipment, like on the Sage shop, and dropping off your retired device to be refurbished is a round-about way to trade ins.
- Rethink defunct devices – with all the power these devices have—and all the exotic materials that go into making them—there are still things that can be done with even broken electronic devices. With a quick search, you can find new life for even dead electronics.
- Delay the inevitable – though upgrading is part-and-parcel with technology, that doesn’t mean it has to happen in the timeframe that the manufacturer dictates. Remember that the tech giants want you to spend more money, so their recommended upgrade schedule isn’t based on any factor other than profit.
**Insider note: sometimes manufacturers create artificial expiration dates with their devices. Since they can’t stop you from using the hardware (yet), they compromise the software with things like throttling phones or eliminating ongoing support. Be sure to check to see if a device you’re looking for has some kind of built-in limitations, like what has been discovered with Chromebooks.
- Donate your device – this is one record we don’t mind being broken on: end-of-life devices for businesses are often still perfectly viable for community use. This not only lessens the digital divide, but it keep your retired electronics out of the e-waste stream for another few years.
With all the bad news that’s been circulating about our climate and the state of our planet, we feel taking personal responsibility for something that can make such a significant impact in the world is the best way to take control of the situation. You may not be able to stop coral bleaching or reduce carbon emissions from manufacturing, but you can prevent toxic materials from winding up in a landfill, or give those manufacturers one less reason to make another toxic device.