Refurbished Technology and the Circular Economy (How it Benefits)


The exponential growth of e-waste has prompted a search for green alternatives to help alleviate the impact our technological devices have on our planet.

One of these alternatives is refurbished technology.

Buying refurbished cell phones, computers, tablets, and more can help boost the circular economy and benefit our environment. Read on to learn more about the relationship between refurbished technology and the circular economy, and how you can benefit the Earth and still obtain all of the technology you need.

What Is the Circular Economy?

A circular economy is one that encourages manufacturers and consumers to keep their electronic devices (and other products) in circulation longer. It involves repairing, reusing, or recycling products to extend their lifecycle, rather than tossing them in a landfill.

Electronics manufacturing demands a huge amount of energy and raw materials. For example, 70-80% of the emissions a laptop is responsible for throughout its lifecycle comes from the manufacturing process.

This is why a circular economy is such a vital piece of the environmental puzzle.

When you keep a device in circulation longer, you don’t need to manufacture new devices as often, which results in reduced emissions, fewer raw materials used, and big energy savings.

3 Ways To Achieve a Circular Economy

A circular economy consists of a number of efforts that encourage keeping electronics in circulation longer. Here are a few ways to support a circular economy:

  1. Repairing devices instead of replacing them with new ones, and/or repurposing components to make optimum use of them.
  2. Refurbishing devices, which involves making repairs to older devices, but also making upgrades to them. Take the example of a computer: When a computer is refurbished, any broken or damaged components are repaired, then updates are made to the operating system, storage, software, and other elements to ensure it’s functioning at optimum levels.
  3. Recycling devices through a certified electronics recycler to ensure it is done safely and securely for the sake of the environment and any sensitive data that may be housed on the device. Recycling electronics helps recover valuable materials that can be used to manufacture new devices, reducing the need for mining new materials.

Essentially, a circular economy embraces the “reduce, reuse, recycle” concepts we’ve all heard about by reducing the manufacturing of new electronics through repairing old ones, reusing old devices by refurbishing them, and recycling those that can’t be repaired or refurbished.

The Circular Economy and Sustainable Development

Sustainable technology development can also help support a circular economy.

One way that sustainable development encourages a circular economy is through finding sustainable ways to manufacture and design new electronics. When technology is sustainably developed, the designing and engineering processes are focused on decreasing the carbon footprint of devices while also increasing their efficiency and life span.

A few examples of developing sustainable technology are:

  • Creating components that can be easily disassembled and either fixed or replaced
  • Simplifying the design of components so they can be fixed easily
  • Using the least number of components, materials, and fastenings as possible when building a device

These things make it easier for refurbishers and recyclers to separate the components, therefore making it easier to keep devices in circulation longer.

Companies like Apple and Samsung are beginning to make changes to their devices and manufacturing processes in this vein, and we’re hopeful that many more will follow their lead.

The Role Refurbished Technology Plays in a Circular Economy

The replacement cycle of our technology—especially smartphones—is speeding up. For example, most people now replace their phones every 2-4 years, typically because they no longer work, or in some cases because they simply want the newest model.

When you buy refurbished, you slow down that replacement cycle and boost the circular economy. This means big benefits to our environment in the form of:

  • Reduced demand for valuable natural resources
  • Less CO2 emissions
  • Less e-waste
  • Lower energy and fuel consumption due to less manufacturing

Refurbished technology isn’t just “used”. It’s refurbished to be good as new, with functionality and performance comparable to a new model. And it’s tested extensively to ensure optimal functionality and performance.

Refurbished Technology and the Circular Economy: How Repowered Contributes

At Repowered, we contribute to the circular economy through refurbishing and selling electronics that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

We offer a wide range of refurbished technology, from smartphones and laptops to networking equipment, gaming consoles, and more. We can help you sustainably fulfill all of your tech needs for home or office…and at affordable prices to boot!

The next time you shop for a new smartphone, laptop, or other electronic device, consider contributing to the circular economy by buying refurbished from Repowered. Visit us at one of our retail stores or browse our selection of refurbished tech in our online store.

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