The Environmental Benefits Of Selling Your Used Laptop

Sell Your Used Laptop Environmental BenefitSell it. Give it away, Just don’t chuck it in the bin, even if you try to recycle it. The free laptop, given to a friend who needs one because you just got a better one, is the green solution to a problem that gets worse with every passing year.

The electronics and communications industries have a lot to answer for, environmentally speaking. They’re built on the least sustainable business model in the universe, which basically demands that we all keep chucking out perfectly serviceable machines so we can get “the latest” model instead. And where do all those still-working, still loaded with nickel cadmium batteries, machines end up? On the tip, leaking.

The disposal of old laptops is only half the problem. The creation of new ones has an absolutely massive carbon footprint: hundreds of millions of items being made from metal, plastic and carbon; hundreds of millions of batteries being made; and all of the above being shipped halfway around the world to depots, before they are then transported on again to individual shops and warehouses.

The commandments governing environmentally conscious waste management go like this: re-use, recycle, generate energy and finally just throw away. In other words: re-using items is the most environmentally sound way to deal with them when we no longer want them for ourselves.

If you have the money to buy a new laptop, why bother selling the old one? Give it away. Do something nice for someone. A free laptop in the right place can connect a child to the Internet or help a struggling writer get a novel finished. Take your laptop down to a charity shop and let them sell it for you. Then you have done a bit of good for the environment and also helped out a charity – and most high street charities need all the help they can get now Ebay has taken over the universe.

Some things to remember before you turn your old laptop into a free laptop: data is not very easy to get rid of. Though it isn’t that easy to recover either unless you know what you are doing. The point is – if you are worried that your financial details might be extracted from your hard drive then you should have your laptop professionally cleaned (for data that is, not for dust and coffee stains!) before you sell it on or give it away. After all, turning a used laptop into a free laptop could be the most expensive thing you ever did, if you give it to a charity shop and they sell it to someone who knows how to fish your life out of the wiped hard drive.

If there is genuinely sensitive information on there, or ever has been, then you are advised to think very hard before you give it away or sell it. A company that really cleans up old laptops and disposes of the information on them will burn your hard drive – that’s the only way that you can be sure the information that used to be on there can’t be retrieved.

For normal people, though, turning the old laptop into a free laptop is the only way to be sure you’ve at least partially offset the environmental damage done by your new one.

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