Sustainability experts advise recommends buying refurbished tech gift instead of brand new

Written by on December 22, 2020

Sustainability experts advise recommends buying refurbished tech gift instead of brand new

By Megan Frank 

December 22, 2020

Americans plan to spend over 130 billion dollars this holiday season on tech gifts. That’s according to a major consumer tech tradegroup. But before spending big, WLVR’s Megan Frank reports, there’s a way to spend less and reduce toxic waste. 

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Last year, over 50 million tons of electronic or e-waste was generated around the globe. And that e-waste contains toxic components, according to a Columbia University study…elements like mercury and lead that are dangerous to human health. 

Emma Horst-Martz is with the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group, a consumer advocacy agency based in Philly. She says they’re urging people to buy refurbished as a way to lessen the blow on the planet. 

“In Pennsylvania, we throw away an average of 15,000 cell phones every single day. You don’t actually need a new cell phone every year! Buying refurbished is a good way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.”

Horst-Martz says when consumers buy pre-used tech, they reduce e-waste in landfills and by doing that they could cut their own spending by 30-50%. 

She recommends consumers buy from websites like Gazelle and Back Market, which inspect, clean and re-package products before reselling them.

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