Experts say that electronic waste, or E-waste, can enter our water and soil supplies if they are not disposed of properly. Moreover, a study conducted by the United Nations Environment Program reported that up to 50 million tons worth of E-waste—primarily made up of smartphones and computers—were dumped in 2017. We can deduce that this number has only grown since then.
Aside from the cost on the planet, consumers are also spending disproportionately to upgrade to new phones even when they don’t need them, especially when we account for how much this money can balloon in about three decades.
All this is to say that our devices are investments, and we need to use them for as long as we can if we care about the environment and our finances. If you want your laptop, smartphone, tablet, and accessories to last for a long time, here are some tips for caring for them efficiently and effectively, no matter the brand and unit you’re using.
Abide by the brand’s Care Tips
As soon as you open a new device, the first order of business is to check the manual for care tips or go to the brand’s website to see their recommendations for proper care and maintenance. Your device doesn’t even need to be new; as long as your devices and accessories are working correctly now, it’s never too late to follow the care instructions from the manufacturer.
Here are some areas of care you need to pay close attention to:
- Battery care and how you can continue to maintain your device’s battery health
- The safest ways to physically clean your device, because not all of them are waterproof or water-resistant
- How much space your device has and how you can protect it from overloading and overheating
- Tips for how to guard your devices against viruses and other harmful software
Read the manual or website backward and forward to ensure that you’re not missing out on a single care tip. Follow the instructions because they were given to you to help you maximize your device for a long time.
Repair, don’t replace
One of the biggest lies of capitalism is that we have to instantly replace a device just because it’s malfunctioning in minor ways. Don’t be too quick to give up on your device just because one feature is not working as it should. Plenty of companies outside of your devices’ manufacturers can offer reliable repairs for cellphones, tablets, and laptops. Just read the reviews and if the customers are satisfied, give these repair companies a chance. Love your device enough to breathe new life into them when they’re not working as they should.
Get high-quality cases
It may be tempting to opt for more affordable protective cases that look cute or nice but don’t offer much in the way of actual protection. But if you truly want to ensure that your device is adequately insulated if you drop it, you need to invest in some higher quality cases or mini bags.
This is why: One of the worst things that can happen to your phone is dropping it and shattering the screen entirely. There is nothing more inconvenient than having an indisposed device when you use it for your day-to-day life, especially for work. Find tried-and-tested cases that will truly protect your device against anything—from typhoons to earthquakes to trucks driving over it.
As for your laptop, make sure to use the bags that the brand provided when you bought it. If you purchased the laptop secondhand and no longer came with a bag, buy a durable bag for the actual device and its accessories.
Care for the Accessories
Apple broke the hearts of many consumers when they announced that they were no longer providing charging wires and headphones for every brand-new phone, but they said it was in an effort to reduce E-waste. Whether this decision was effective in its mission is still up for debate, but it should inspire us as consumers to care for the accessories that we do have now so that we don’t need to keep purchasing every time our charger or earphones give up on us. Buy protective cases for your accessories as well so that they’re not exposed to the elements, and clean your earphones regularly.
Care for your devices, and you would also be caring for the planet and your finances. Don’t be too quick to upgrade or replace—maintain the gadgets and accessories you have now, and you would be doing good for the environment and your wallet.