How can kids contribute to the e-waste solution
Families today have an average of 24 electronic devices. Electronics are engrained in most households, from iPads and iPhones to Android tablets and hand-held video gaming devices, because they are used for everything from communication to entertainment.
Because many of these gadgets are used by the family's younger members, it's critical to teach children about e-waste recycling so that they can become trendsetters as they grow. This article will assist you in introducing the concept of e-waste to your children so that when they become more informed, they will be more aware and responsible consumers.
What can we do with our old electronics?
Don’t trash them
To begin with, we should never throw e-waste in the trash. Even small items such as phones and batteries should not be thrown away. These products contain some hazardous (dangerous) compounds that should not be thrown away because it's harmful for the environment, plus it contains valuable metals that can be recycled.
You might give it to someone else, such as a family member or a friend. It is also possible to sell it or you could also donate it to a charity so that it can benefit someone else.
If reusing isn't a possible or practical choice, there are other options. You could send it to a recycling center.
Where should we take our e-waste for recycling?
Go to recycling center
Improperly handled e-waste is getting increasingly dangerous, particularly as the volume of our e-waste grows. As a result, major brands such as Apple, Samsung, and others have begun to offer customers the option of recycling outdated gadgets. You may even receive financial compensation for recycling your old electronics in some cases.
The expensive electronic parts within old electronics can be recovered by recycling them. This can save a lot of energy and eliminate the need for new raw materials or parts to be manufactured.
Do a Google search for "recycle electronics" and your city or area name to find electronic recycling programmes in your area.
Go to a Certified Electronics Recycler
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urges all electronic recyclers to become certified by demonstrating to a recognized, independent third-party auditor that they meet specified recycling and management standards. After certification, the independent accredited certifying authority monitors that the recycler is holding up the standards or not.
The recycling standards that must be followed help both people and the environment. They offer advanced management best practices, a mechanism to examine the environmental, worker health, and security procedures of businesses that manage used electronics, and strong environmental criteria that maximize reusing and recycling. Finally, they ensure that materials are handled safely by handlers and require destruction of any old data on your used electronics.
If you don't have access to an e-waste recycler, you can return some devices (but not televisions) to any Staples store for recycling. Staples offers a free recycling service through an e-waste recycler.
Best Buy stores
If you have any large items that Staples won't accept (such as televisions), you can return them to any Best Buy store.
Things kids can do to help recycle E-waste
Organize an electronic drive at school
Some schools have lately developed a Green Team; whose members are responsible for encouraging their classmates to take green acts. Consider how much electronic waste an entire school of families could generate! If your child is in grades 4-10 this year, they may be even more motivated. They will be able to engage in a hands-on activity that will help them understand the importance of recycling.
Those kids who are taking part will learn the following (and more!):
- Methods for reducing, reusing and recycling our devices.
- How electronics affect household energy consumption and how electricity is generated.
- How chemicals in electronics will end up in the environment if they aren't properly disposed of.
- Why it’s important to dispose of electronics properly.
Learn to Fix Gadgets
Even if you don't realize it most electronic equipment are rather simple to repair. It's also a good way for children to learn and having fun while also being exposed to technical work. Allowing children to explore with outdated or broken equipment can help them develop problem-solving skills and a sense of pride when they successfully repair the device (or work in a new way). There are various online guidelines for repairing a variety of electronic gadgets, including the free guides on iFixit.com. They provide simple step-by-step instructions to fix for just about anything.
Suggest to your teachers that you organize a group at school where kids can come together and fix old electronics together, as well as share their successes with things they've fixed at home.