Blog,  declutter

E-waste not, want not?

Our Lego Minifig TuTu sizes up the de-cluttering task ahead of her

We’re starting this year’s de-cluttering project with getting rid of our e-waste. After being in the same apartment for about 9 years, we’ve ended up collecting things that we don’t need… or worse, we put it away saying we may need it SOME time! And more often than not – that some time never comes! So, this first week of the year, we’ve packed all our stuff into one box to give away to our local electrician.

 

So, what IS e-waste, you may ask?

E-waste, put simply, is ‘Electronic’ waste. Anything from unused / not-working refrigerators and washing machines down to the wires and cables to your old chargers. Lots of electronic items are outdated, or broken or you just may not want them any more.

Why not throw it in the bin?

Well, many of us may not be aware that e-waste, when thrown away can leak chemicals into the soil and water around it, which can then contaminate the water we drink and food grown in the contaminated soil. These toxins are such as mercury and lead are very harmful to the body – especially if we’re not even aware that it’s entering our body!

So, what can we do?

I found this tip on www.recyclecoach.com, which can help us to reduce e-waste.

Reduce, Re-use, Repair and Recycle.

Reduce – which is something I’m trying to do this year – basically means – stop shopping! Which is easier said than done. BUT, I’m going to try it. So, even if your favourite brand releases a new smart watch, or phone or laptop – resist the urge to buy. Stay content with whatever you’re using now – especially if it works well, and REDUCE your consumption.

Re-use – if something doesn’t work, try not to just throw it out. Consider donating it to someone who might use it more than you, or selling it, or gifting it to someone. Try not to chuck it in the bin.

Repair – this is a word that’s very rarely used these days! But why not try repairing it before getting a new one? Our TV stopped working last week, so we’re trying to get it repaired although its a very old model. Hopefully we find the parts we need!

Recycle – this is of course another great option. I found that works here in Chennai – called ‘Attero‘ and my friend Savi also sent me a link for a company called Virogreen where they collect e-waste too.

Here’s an image from Attero, talking about e-waste management in India:

So, we’ve started this ‘de-cluttering’ year with e-waste. We will slowly tackle each clutter, one by one! I also have to share that there was one very sweet Christmas gift given to me by my sister, which was a book called ‘Keep what you love’ by Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hirst.

 

It’s a great visual guide to help me ask myself – do I love it? or do I ‘leave it’?

 

So the answer to the above question regarding e-waste at home:

Leave it!

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