Throughout this month we’ve been talking about e-waste, how much there is and how to recycle it safely. We’ve uncovered some shocking truths, but now we’re feeling energised and ready to make a difference. While the world of consumerism is dangling a carrot of cool tech gadgets in the run-up to Christmas, we’re going to say no, not today. We’re heading straight for the second-hand electricals aisle and stocking up on a sustainable future!
Second-hand electricals: Mobile Phones
Let’s start by tackling one of our biggest gadget issues. Last week we explored just how colossal our mobile phone waste issue is, but do not fret, we’ve got solutions too. We all love having the latest phone. It means we can take high-resolution photos and stream faster than ever but if we’re honest; they’re launching new phone models quicker than we can say upgrade.
Contracted phones are expensive for us and the environment. Every two years we get excited about a new phone, but is it changing our lives for the better? Do we love our upgrades so much we couldn’t possibly live without them?
Jumping off the contracted phone bandwagon isn’t easy. You have to wait for your contract to end but once it does, switching to a sim-only deal will save you a lot of time and money. At the end of your contract, you own your phone; there’s no need to trade it in, sell it, or purchase a new phone. Remember, the best eco-friendly purchase you can make is buying nothing!
If you did want a new handset, buying a refurbished one is a great way to reduce your impact. It’s become public knowledge that some companies deliberately slow down their older models. So, depending on what operating system your phone runs on, you may need to buy a newer model from time to time. When that time comes, remember Music Magpie. They’ve got lots of refurbished phones, even the latest models, so you don’t need to jump into another handset contract.
It’s not very often that we treat ourselves to a new fridge or washing machine. They tend to be the items that are purchased to ‘match’ the kitchen or to replace a broken one. Yet, large appliances make up for 22% of our nations electrical waste.
The good thing about large appliances is that they tend to last decades before they need to be replaced, which means that buying second-hand is a great idea. Some of us may have a freezer in our garage or shed that’s at least 20 years old and still going!
In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of the Facebook Marketplace. It’s quickly become the place to sell things that you no longer need but can’t be bothered to take to your local waste centre. Not only will you find some large appliances on here, but you’ll find them at bargain prices! It’s the perfect place to find a replacement at a lower price, but make sure you buy safely.
Alternatively, if you don’t feel comfortable buying from someone on Facebook, there are other second-hand stores out there like Appliance Depot. Their appliances are refurbished and tested and come with a 60-day warranty.
Other places to buy second-hand electricals
Although our high streets are currently closed due to the lockdown, there are plenty of small businesses selling second-hand electricals. It might be a nice idea to check out if they have an online store you can purchase from and help support them in the run-up to Christmas.
Not just small businesses, but charities like the British Heart Foundation also sell second-hand electricals. From vacuum cleaners to TVs, you’ll find plenty of reasonably priced items, and they even have an eBay store so you can shop online during the lockdown.
Second-hand electricals are out there in abundance just waiting for you to buy them and rescue them from years of polluting our planet. Imagine all the e-waste we can save the nation from if we all purchased second-hand electricals. Not to mention the boost we can give to small businesses and charities when it’s needed. Will you buy pre-loved this Christmas?