Save the environment with tech repairs

Modern electronics exist in the awkward position of being easy to use yet almost impossible to fix without the technical know-how.

Unfortunately, this contradiction means that smartphones, laptops, and even clocks tend to wind up in landfill sites once our ability to turn them off and on again has been exhausted.

Now, some people are trying to reverse this wanton wastefulness, as the environment continues to suffer.

Official Parts
Right to Repair is probably something that most people have heard of.

It’s an EU-based initiative that aims to make fixing technology less expensive and more accessible to the average user.

While this doesn’t necessarily mean that owners themselves can attempt repairs, it will serve as a safeguard against legal action for independent repairers.

Simultaneously, it will force the release of official parts into the marketplace.

This effort to increase the repairability of tech has a number of different faces.

At the smallest scale, plenty of technology enthusiasts keep tools around to cover simple fixes, like loose screws or dusty, stuck components.

A more organized approach to maintenance involves a tech survival kit.

This emergency pack includes everything needed to charge batteries, access the internet, and conduct some basic repairs.

The ExpressVPN website outlines the contents of a tech survival kit by dividing them up into four categories, namely, data storage devices, phones and accessories, tools, chargers and power.

The tools section includes a screwdriver kit, torch, pocket knife, and an analogue watch to replace any digital timepieces destroyed by electromagnetic forces, such as those produced by a lightning strike.

As the latter point demonstrates, tech survival kits are largely orientated towards natural disasters and circumstances that take utilities offline.

However, the data storage devices mentioned are designed to keep scanned copies of important documents, like birth certificates, insurance documents, licenses and ID, so they’re applicable in less urgent scenarios too.

Raw Materials
On a day-to-day basis, the environmental reasons for keeping kits and tools around are arguably more important than staving off calamity, as the ability to repair may actually reduce the insistence of climate disasters like wildfires and flooding.

Recycling company S2S claimed that 53.6m tonnes of “e-waste” was created worldwide yet only 17% of all this junk was recycled.

S2S takes the unusual step of discussing the effects of e-waste on the human body, rather than the planet, noting that discarded tech can contain lead, mercury and cadmium, all of which are poisonous, affecting memory, fertility, and liver and heart function.

How does all this get inside us? A report published on the PubMed website notes that toxic “leachate” from landfill leaks into the groundwater below.

None of this is necessary, as e-waste can be a useful source of raw materials, and the world is currently fighting against a shortage of electronic chips.

With that in mind, the recycling of unwanted technology should be an essential part of the manufacturing process, with corporations responsible for how owners deal with broken or old tech. A stamped-addressed bag may be all that’s needed here.

Whether it’s high-street repairs, simple maintenance, or getting tough on local recycling, everybody can help with cleaning up the tech industry.

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