People give all sorts of electronics as gifts around the holidays: phone chargers, e-book readers, video games, drones and more. But what should we do with the devices they are replacing?
Most of our gadgets end up in landfills, others stuffed away in a closet, never to be played with again. In the tech industry, hoarding or disposing of used electronics this way is known as e-waste, and can leave toxic materials and pollutants in the environment. The amount of e-waste is growing every year — by some estimates, consumers threw away 92 billion pounds of used electronics last year, up from 87.7 billion pounds the previous year, according to a report by the United Nations University, the academic and research arm of the United Nations.
Efforts are underway to dispose of electronics more responsibly. Electronics resellers, for one, have existed for years and purchase old tech products. More recently, large tech companies including Apple and phone carriers like Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA and AT&T have begun trade-in programs for cellphones, offering consumers credit toward buying new phones. The companies then often resell the old cellphones internationally.
Yet the e-waste issue persists. Many people shove their old computers and tablets into junk drawers or closets, said Chris Sullivan, the chief executive of Gazelle, a company that buys and sells used electronics. “They’re unaware of the options,” he said, on how to responsibly dispose of many electronics.
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
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EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey
New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 7/28/21 w/ Adafruit MCP9601 (MCP96L01) I2C Thermocouple Amplifier – STEMMA QT /Qwiic!
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