Repair Or Replace?

Dark Truths - Electronics & The Environment

We’re all a little guilty, aren’t we? But really, can you blame us?

It’s 2020 and smartphone manufacturers are pushing out the newest, sleekest smartphone models faster than my McDonalds drive-thru order. 

How are we keeping up with the trend? With those enticing 0% down, two year contracts of course! Head over to your local carrier, or order online in your sweatpants, you’ll have the newest tech in your hands just in time to be told “your phone is old, time to upgrade again”. 

We have been pre-conditioned to believe we need to replace, when in reality there is no better time to choose repair. We focus on our environmental footprint in so many ways, yet we often forget the harsh impact electronics have on the environment. 

Follow along as we dive deep into these dark truths, yet also shed some light with the answer to our prayers.

Electronics and The Environment 1

The Facts

• Currently, 5.20 billion people own mobile devices. Predictions based on Statista show that by 2023 that number will grow to 7.33 billion. With those numbers in mind and the steady trend of consumers purchasing new devices, we can safely predict that many “old” devices will be discarded in order to make way for the newer models. 

• Shockingly only 20% of our electronic waste is collected globally. This means that roughly 80% end up in the landfill. These facts presented to us by collections.unu.edu, show us that consumers are not recycling their electronics safely and/or do not have the means to do so. Please reach out to us at mobilemend for more info on responsible electronic recycling. 

• Many electronics contain toxic materials such as lead, lithium-ion, zinc and more. When electronics end up in our landfills we run the risk of these toxic materials bleeding into the groundwater. This negative impact can disrupt human health, and the health of animals (both land and sea).

• The batteries found in our smartphones and tablets are known as lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion, when overheated, has the capability to produce dozens of extremely harmful gases. These gases can severely impact our health and the environment. This is exactly why we here at mobilemend always encourage our customers to contact us immediately if they notice signs of a swelling battery.

• Billions of electronics are being tossed away each year. Many of these devices function perfectly fine, or simply need a repair service completed to get them back up and running. 

• While we encourage safe recycling, unfortunately out of the 20% that is collected globally to be recycled, only 22% of electronic material has the potential to actually be recycled. The other 78% will be trashed (yikes).

• Research suggests that in the tech industry, smartphones will have the largest growing carbon footprint by 2040. 

• We’re often seeing “made of 100% recycled material” written on product labels. We do not have the ability to produce a device made of 100% recycled material (but honestly, how cool would that be?) 

Anyways, as long as the demand is thriving, manufacturers will continue to produce more and more, leaving a consistently growing negative impact on our environment.

The Solution

We are aware that we’ve been hitting you with some rather intense information, *pause, take a breath*. As promised we will shed some light with the best possible solution; the choice of repair! 

While yes, we cannot put an end to the tremendously severe impact electronics have on the environment. We can absolutely reduce our personal footprint, many small footprints can make a big change. Here’s what you’ll want to know:

• The average cost of a new smartphone (in 2020) ranges from $700 – $1,000. Tablets and computers, you can go ahead and double that cost. Of course we are continually watching these numbers climb as technology advances. Opting for a repair service can potentially save you hundreds of dollars, and the added bonus of keeping one less device out of the trash! 

• You may be surprised to learn how many services are offered at your local device repair shop.  At mobilemend we not only cover the basics like, screen, battery and camera replacements, but we also tackle many of the more complex services. Some of these include: soldering and motherboard services, computer repair and much more. 

So, Can You Blame Us?

As consumers we have the power to decide what we fix and what we trash, so technically we are to blame (we know, it’s not what you were hoping to hear!)However, we can appreciate the fact that we are currently living in a technology driven society, we see new, more advanced products hit the market and we get excited. 

Ultimately the choice to repair when possible and upgrade when necessary is truly the motto here. So next time you see the newest iPhone with 10 cameras on the back and 1000GB, consider the fact that maybe your selfie game is still super strong, even with just 9 cameras and a cracked screen, and remember to give us a call at mobilemend because we’ll have that screen repaired just in time for your lunch break!

 

~ Morgan Xiola blogging on behalf of Mobile Mend

Morgan is a smoothie powered, social media content creator that has recently begun dipping her toes into the blogging world. Striving to create inspiring, useful content that everyone can relate to with just a few clicks.

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