The Green Direction: Second life of a laptop – how to get better hardware and help the planet?

What do environmental problems have in common with electronic equipment? More than may seem apparent. The amount of electro-waste that comes from households and businesses is increasing year by year. However, many of the appliances that are thrown away do not have to end up on the waste heap, but instead may continue to serve their new users for many years to come. A business laptop after a lease with a replaced battery is surprisingly functional and comfortable to use. Buying a second-hand computer is also a real contribution to protecting the planet from destruction.

The electronic problem, or what happens when a laptop ends up in the garbage...

According to 'The Global E-waste Monitor 2020' report, the amount of electro-waste worldwide reached a record 53.6 million tonnes in 2019, of which only 17.4% ended up being recycled. Projections suggest that the amount of electrical and electronic waste will increase to as much as 74 million tonnes by 2030 [1]. The whole world is struggling with electro-waste. There is also alarming data coming from Poland. According to a report by the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection, as much as 329 thousand tonnes of electro-waste was collected in 2018 [2].

Behind these figures there is real damage to the environment and to all of us. Electrical and electronic waste is a source of many toxic substances, such as bromine, mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic. Once released into the environment, these compounds seep into groundwater and soil, contaminating them. Heavy metals accumulate in the tissue of plants, humans and animals, contributing to the development of diseases and adverse changes in ecosystems (extinction of species, restriction of photosynthesis). Their negative impact on the environment may last for many years.

The production of new hardware generates further environmental costs associated with the consumption of non-renewable raw materials (e.g. precious metals) necessary for its manufacture. The inefficient management of precious metals leads to increased costs of their extraction, wasted energy and the destruction of further areas.

Laptop after a lease – how to combine ecology with electronics?

Although the problems of the planet are relevant to many users of electronic equipment, the use of low-performance devices becomes cumbersome after a while and forces users to replace their computers. If your laptop shuts down straight away or runs slowly, replacing it with a newer model seems to be the best solution. However… new is not always better. To get good equipment and, at the same time, become environmentally friendly, it is worth buying a second-hand laptop at a good price instead of a new computer.

The offer of post-leasing equipment at Precio.pl includes primarily business-class computers, which in many aspects exceed the brand new consumer devices. Just compare some of the parameters of both types of hardware. How much power does a consumer laptop use versus a business laptop? How long can the laptop last on a single battery charge depending on the class? A high-quality laptop after a lease can run for 8-12 hours without charging, while standard devices often last only 3-4 hours. A post-lease business laptop is often also characterised by a lower energy consumption (at the level of 25-30 W, compared to 60-100 W).

Business computers are made of durable materials. They are equipped with a number of features for the users' convenience (SSD drives, data loss protection, spill-proof keyboard). The post-lease laptop, thanks to modifications, component replacement and revitalisation, runs just as efficiently as a new one. The use of laptop spare parts from North.pl, as well as batteries and power supplies from Green Cell, allows us to reduce power consumption and extend battery life. A business laptop at a good price is also covered by a warranty – so you don't have to worry about losing money in the event of a failure.

Choosing a used laptop is a step towards an eco-friendly lifestyle. Buying a second-hand laptop extends the lifespan of a piece of equipment that otherwise would have gone to waste. So why invest in new, not always good devices when you can have a high-end laptop at a good price and help the environment at the same time?

The text was created as part of the Green Direction campaign organized by North, Precio and Green Cell. You can read more about the assumptions of the campaign here.

Sources:

1. E-Waste Monitor, http://ewastemonitor.info/ access: 07.08.2021.

2. Electro-waste management. Challenges for 2019-2023, https://cyfrowapolska.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ElektroEko_raport_elektro%C5%9Bmieci_2019.pdf, access: 07.08.2021.