Every year, hundreds of thousands of old computers go into the garbage. That’s not their last stop, of course. From there, they head to a landfill to sit and decompose, with horrendous consequences to the local ecosystem. This disaster can be easily avoided when people decide to sell laptops rather than throw them out. With online services making this process easier than ever, there’s no longer any reason to kick a machine to the curb. In fact, most laptops are actually worth a significant amount of money, which can provide you with the capital to purchase a new machine that better suits your needs. In short, when people sell laptops, everybody (including the earth) wins.
Let’s take a quick look the steps people take to sell laptops online. The first thing to do is to point your web browser to one of the services that recycles laptops, and then resells them as refurbished products. The best companies have easy to use guides that can immediately tell you the approximate value of your old computer. Simply insert the make and model and select the condition, along with answering a few simple questions. From there, you’ll be sent a secure package with the shipping label already filled out with a return address. The only thing left to do is to send off your old machine. You don’t even have to go to the post office; the majority to the time, you’ll be able to hand off the package to your postman. Within a few days, you’ll receive payment for the laptop. Just as promised, easy as 1,2,3!
Now lets compare this with what happens when people don’t sell laptops, but instead relegate them to the trash bin. While your old computer might look harmless enough while it’s whole, when broken apart, it contains a host of disastrous heavy metals. This isn’t just a case of “out of sight, out of mind”. Let’s assume that your machine is one of the “lucky few” that make it to a recycler, rather than the landfill. Indeed, the effects of this are perhaps even more harmful than the alternative.
Recyclers are generally located in countries that don’t have very strict guidelines when it comes to environmental protection. After the useful parts are stripped in order to build new machines, the rest of the contents are burned. According to Robin Schneider, vice-president of the Electronics Take-Back Coalition, more than 80 percent of children in these developing countries have high levels of lead poisoning in their blood, with much of the chemicals coming as a result of inhaling chemicals from the incineration of used electronics. That’s not even mentioning the direct damage done to the local ecosystem, including animals and plants. Those laptops that aren’t recycled are left to rot in domestic landfills, slowly leaking harmful materials into groundwater.
The effects of the difference in deciding whether to sell laptops or toss laptops is simple and clear-cut. By going for the former, you can save the environment and make cash at the same time. When you sell laptops in the future, you’ll have the benefit of knowing that you did your part to make the planet a better place.