In an era marked by growing environmental concerns, the conscious decision to opt for refurbished electronics emerges as a pivotal choice that empowers individuals to make a significant impact in the preservation of our planet. Buying refurbished electronic devices is an excellent way to combat the climate crisis, save water, and reduce e-waste.
Many rich countries have already passed Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. https://www.overshootday.org/about-earth-overshoot-day/ in May, including the U.S.A., the Netherlands, Spain, France, Germany and many more.
Help Restore by buying Refurbed
However, a new study conducted by Refurbed, together with Fraunhofer Austria Research GmbH, has revealed that there is a solution to preserving resources – buying refurbished electronic devices.
Refurbished Devices vs. New Devices: The Environmental Comparison
The study calculated the total environmental impact of selected electronic devices in their first and second use phases, including the Apple iPhone 11, Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, Apple iPad Pro 4 2020, Apple MacBook Air 2017 13.3“, and Lenovo Thinkpad T460 i5. The findings were impressive, indicating that for new electronic devices, 80% of the CO2 lifetime emissions occur in the production phase.
When refurbishing electronic devices, the amount of CO2 emitted is dramatically reduced, as seen in the example of a refurbished Apple iPhone 11 emitting just 2.8 kg per device, compared to 56.9 kg produced for a new model. This means that consumers who opt for refurbished devices instead of new ones can save up to 78% of CO2 emissions, depending on the product.
Moreover, the production of a new smartphone requires up to 13,000 litres of water, whereas refurbishment of the same product requires only 1,695 litres. This corresponds to a water saving of up to 91%, depending on the product. Additionally, the study showed that buying a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S20 instead of a new one can save up to 60% of e-waste, and up to 80% for an Apple MacBook Air 2017.
“These results are particularly important as we have taken a fully comprehensive look at all impact areas – Scope 1, 2 and 3. This does not take out a partial section, but quantifiably calculates the real impact a product has on our planet,” says study author Paul Rudorf from Fraunhofer Austria Research GmbH.
The Importance of Comprehensive Environmental Impact Analysis
Peter Windischhofer, co-founder of Refurbed, notes the importance of collecting comparable data and transparently communicating the positive effects of refurbishment to consumers to make the consumption of electronic products more sustainable. Refurbed is making strides in Ireland, as one refurbished device can now be found in one in 30 households across the country, a positive development that supports the responsible use of resources.
Buying refurbished electronic devices is an excellent way to combat the climate crisis, save water, and reduce e-waste. It’s essential to prioritize alternative business models and extended product life spans to preserve our resources. As Peter Windischhofer says, “We can help make the consumption of electronic products more sustainable.”
If you want to read more about re-using products, read this article about recycling the un-recyclable.
Power of Possibilities To Decrease Harm To Our Planet
There is immense power of possibility in the many existing solutions (below) that are ready to be deployed at scale. With them, we can make ourselves more resilient and #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day.