Save the Planet By Buying Refurbished Electronics

Here at Wowcher, we have a wide range of exciting refurbished devices for you to choose from. Each device is rigorously checking for any blemishes or scratches before being assigned to one of the following grades: very good, good, or acceptable.

If you are looking to update your smartphone, we have a great selection of Apple devices including iPhone 6, 7, 8, XS, XR, SE, 11, 12, Pro and Max models! Alternatively, if you are looking for a tablet or laptop to surf the web then we have some fantastic offers on refurbished iPads, MacBooks, Chromebooks and more.

Environmental Impact

Technology has advanced so much over the years, transforming the way we work, communicate and live our daily lives. With tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft and Samsung releasing new smartphones, laptops and tablets on a regular basis, there has been a significant increase in technological consumption due to the tech savvy among us wanting to keep up with the latest trends.

However, the environmental impact this has on our planet is rather alarming. A study from the researchers at McMaster University shows that the overall environmental impact that technology has on our carbon footprint is getting worse. In 2007, the Information and Communication industry (ICT) accounted for 1% of the global footprint. Since then, it has already approximately tripled and looks set to exceed 14% by 2040.

What Can You Do to Help?

But how can we still enjoy our favourite tech gadgets whilst also saving the planet? One option is to buy refurbished! Not only do these come at a fraction of the cost of a brand new device, but they also come with a whole host of environmental benefits. Read on to find out why buying refurbished items can be good for your pocket and the planet...

Why Buying Refurbished Items Helps Save The Planet

It Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

Did you know that buying a refurbished device can help you to reduce your carbon footprint? Producing a new smartphone equates to approximately 85% to 95% of the total CO2 emissions for your device over two years. To put this into perspective, buying one new phone uses just as much energy as recharging and operating a smartphone for 10 years! Even companies such as Apple are starting to acknowledge the impact that producing new smartphones is having on their emissions. In its 2019 Environmental Responsibility Report, Apple stated that 74% of their carbon footprint is caused by the manufacturing process, in comparison to just 17% caused by device usage.

Most of the carbon emissions for an electronic device are actually generated during production. For example - an Apple iPhone X will create around 79KG of CO2 in its lifetime but 80% of these emissions happen before the smartphone has even left the factory. So by purchasing a pre-owned device, you can help to reduce the carbon emissions associated with the production of a new phone!

How much CO2 can you save by buying refurbished?

  • iPhone SE = 45KG
  • iPhone 6S = 54KG
  • iPhone 7 = 56KG
  • iPhone 8 = 57KG
  • iPhone XR = 62kg
  • iPhone X = 79kg
  • iPhone 11 = 80KG

It Uses Fewer Raw Materials

In line with reducing your carbon footprint, buying a preowned device also reduces the amount of raw materials which is used to produce a new smartphone. Approximately 129 grams of raw material goes into making one iPhone, including aluminium, carbon, oxygen, iron, and silicone. In order to obtain those materials, it requires 75 pounds of mined ore, 100 litres of water, and 20.5g of cyanide (required to extract precious metal from the mined ore).

This had led to the exploitation of the mines and its workers, as well as a huge impact on water resources. Not only are most of the precious metals difficult to obtain, with miners working in dangerous conditions, but this also leads to water being contaminated with toxic substances. Additionally, a lot of rare Earth metals including Neodymium, terbium and dysprosium are used to create electronic devices. Notoriously difficult to mine, these metals are also non-renewable so once they are gone, they are gone.

We also cannot forget the impact of plastic in the world of electronic devices. The average smartphone is made up of approximately 40% plastic, a lot of which is only partially recyclable due to the other components which make up the device. Therefore, holding onto your existing device for an extra year or two, or buying a refurbished model, is ideal as it prevents the need for any more minerals to be extracted.

It Reduces Waste and Toxicity

E-waste is one of the biggest growing environmental issues. In 2019, 50 million tonnes of e-waste was generated, yet this is expected to more than double to 110 million tonnes by 2050. According to a UN report, this is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world.

Whilst this is a huge problem in itself, electronics also account for 70% of toxic landfill. This is due to the chemicals contained in tech devices which can pollute soil, water and air. If that was not enough, throwing away old gadgets means also throwing away some of the valuable minerals which have been mined to create them in the first place. Looking at gold alone, the amount of the element in our global e-waste equates to approximately 11% of the total amount of gold mined each year.

Instead of being wasteful and throwing away perfectly good devices, consumers are actively being encouraged to recycle their old electronics meaning they can be given a new lease of life elsewhere. By buying a preloved product, you are both extending the lifespan of your device and preventing quality goods from going to landfill.

Wowcher Top Tips for Extending the Life of your Electronic Devices

Whilst buying a refurbished electronic device is an effective way of reducing carbon footprint, another way to do so is by keeping hold of your current devices for as long as possible. We have put together some of our top tips for ensuring the longevity of your electronic devices.

  • Keep your electronics safe with a case! These are designed to absorb any shocks whilst preventing scratches, bumps and damage from accidental drops. Plus, if you have a smartphone you can also invest in a protective screen to save yourself from cracks and scratches. (link to cases on Wowcher)
  • In order to preserve your phone battery, avoid exposing your electronic devices to extreme temperatures. Hot temperatures can cause your device to overheat whilst cold temperatures prevent the battery from powering properly.
  • Instead of replacing or throwing your old phone away, look to repair or recycle. It is often possible to repair your screen or battery for a fraction of the cost of a new device, allowing you to enjoy your current device for longer.
  • Charge little and often! It is actually better to charge your smartphone for short periods during the day than it is to charge overnight. You should also avoid letting it shut down completely due to lack of battery - try keeping it between 20% and 80% charged.
  • Avoid over using your device on a daily basis as this will save your battery, preventing it from breaking in the future.