Environmental Responsibility When Buying a Mac
Published on: 8th March 2022

How buying second-hand Macs is not only better for your wallet but better for the environment too.

If you’re currently on the search for a new Mac, whether it’s for school, work or leisure, you essentially have two choices: buy new or buy refurbished. While it’s very exciting to pull up to the Apple store and purchase your brand new Mac, get home, rip that cellophane packaging off the box and get to work setting your machine up, this may not be the best option. In this blog post we are going to explain how buying refurbished isn’t just better for your wallet but better for the environment too.

Creating less electronic waste

Electronic waste, otherwise known as e-waste is a term used to cover items of all types of electronic equipment (EEE) and its parts that have been discarded by the owner as waste without the intention of re-use.

The UK is on track to rival Norway, the current biggest e-waste producer in the world, by 2023. The latest figures show that the UK produced a total of 1.6 million tonnes of e-waste in 2019, equating to approximately 23.9kg of waste per person. Of the e-waste generated, it is estimated that around 40 per cent is illegally exported to other countries to be dumped, where contaminants from the discarded devices can enter water and food supplies of the local communities and wildlife. Toxic materials such as mercury, lead and beryllium will start to leak into the soil overtime and can eventually find their way into the water sources and local farm soil.

We can help to reverse these effects or at least slow them down by buying refurbished. When you buy a second-hand machine, you are not only extending the lifespan of these devices but you are ultimately helping to reduce the number of computers and laptops that are going to landfill. All while saving money on a quality product.

Credit: National Geographic

Rare materials, water, and energy… the manufacturing of tech products and its environmental impact

Computer factories are huge guzzlers of gold, silver, and many types of other rare earth materials. The extraction of these minerals, which are essential for the production of devices, has a sizable impact on the environment and ecosystems. Not to mention the often-horrendous human conditions in which mines are operated.

On average, the production of a single computer uses about 200kg of raw materials in order to extract the rare materials required. The exploitation of the mines from which the materials are extracted also has a particularly disastrous impact on water resources. Gold production, for example, releases cyanide and mercury, two very harmful and toxic substances, which end up in rivers. The consequences of the production of these objects on freshwater reserves doesn’t stop there though. It takes on average 1,500 litres to produce a computer. This is not a negligible quantity in the context of increasing water stress in many parts of the world.

Credit: Arab News

In addition to the rare material extraction, we also must look at the energy requirements to produce a new computer. While a new computer or laptop is technically more energy-efficient, it’s the energy used during the production stage that is the most significant. It is said that four-fifths of the total energy consumed over a desktop computer’s lifetime is, in fact, during the production of the computer itself and only one-fifth is consumed during its use.

When prolonging a devices lifespan and buying refurbished, you are essentially making more use out of the original energy used during the production of the device. Not only this but you are also preventing the need for more rare earth materials and their mining process. Both in turn lowering your carbon footprint.

Price tag

While we may be slightly biased when it comes to buying refurbished, it does have plenty of positives and very few actual downsides at all! Price is one obvious benefit as refurbished computers and laptops are a lot less expensive when compared to their brand new counterparts, especially when it comes to Apple products. On top of this, many of our newer machines have very low battery cycles and are in mint condition.

If you are at all worried about the condition of one of our refurbished Macs, you can rest assured that our refurbishment process is second to none. All of our products are comprehensively tested then tripled checked to make sure that everything is working accordingly. All of our machines also come with 1-year warranty, so if the unexpected does happen, we can fix, replace or refund your machine.

When buying refurbished, not only do you get a quality product at a lower price, you can also feel good that you’re doing your little bit to help the planet. Whether it’s being responsible for limiting the amount of e-waste that ends up in landfill, conserving the world’s limited resources or reducing your carbon footprint, you can feel confident that the small change you made is having an impact. And whether you’ve realized it or not, many businesses and governments are actually beginning to move towards this way of thinking and have been doing so for many years now. The world will hopefully be in a much better place if all electronics manufacturers incorporated refurbishment into their manufacturing processes.

Based on 207 reviews.
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