Recycle 2.0 How repair and maintenance reduce the carbon footprint
Climate change is a huge international problem that needs immediate measures to be adopted by every world citizen. This problem is directly linked to carbon footprints associated with all kind of human-influenced activities. The need of the hour is to reduce carbon footprints at every possible source. This objective can’t be fulfilled solely by impactful action of some international or government organizations but require collective immediate efforts to avoid irreversible and unimaginable harmful consequences. Let’s discuss the amount of carbon footprints associated with E-waste and how it can be restricted by adopting simple measures of repair and maintenance.
What is the Carbon Footprint?
It is a measure of the total amount of emission of greenhouse gases by an individual, organization or product expressed in terms of equivalent carbon dioxide emission. It’s a quantitative index that reflects the contribution of any specific individual, organization or products for polluting the environment that directly associates with the problem of climate change. Higher the index, higher will be a negative environmental impact.
Carbon Footprints and E-waste:
Every single day, tonnes of electrical and electronic components are thrown-off or disposed of. The rate of increment in the amount of E-waste is extremely high and showing exponential trends. The rapid innovation and technological advancement have reduced the effective life span of various electrical and electrical components that have further enhanced the problem of E-waste. Also, nowadays, most of the people prefer to discard a product just because of a minor error in performance in place of repairing or maintaining due to availability of cheaper alternatives.
A huge amount of carbon footprints is associated with every electronic product. Considering their manufacturing and processing, more amount is added to the overall quantity. Also, while disposing or discarding an electrical or electronic waste, we discard its precious metal and other content, manufacturing, and processing of which has involved tonnes of carbon emission. Moreover, if not properly handled, these waste cause a harmful and hazardous effect on the environment that further complicate the problem. Mostly heavy metals and radioactive elements are present in E-waste that takes centuries to neutralize naturally and cause irreversible damage to the environment.
A standard office with 100 computers produces 69,205.8 kg CO2e per annum while functioning. If we add carbon production associated with the manufacturing of every component, disposal and post disposals, the figure will be 10 times more. For providing an effective sink for just a single standard office, it requires the plantation of almost 20 hectares of land which is an impossible task to get achieved solely.
Consequences of increased carbon footprints are far beyond imagination.
How Repair and Maintenance can reduce carbon footprints?
As mentioned before, it’s now normal to choose a new product instead of repair in case of any damage due to decreasing cost price. We should keep in mind that the cheaper cost of replacement does not involve an environmental cost that has been associated with it. Moreover, people may gain in monetary terms by replacing, but cause great damage to the environment that can’t be reversed by money. Whereas by simply repairing it, not only effective life-span of the product can be increased, but also carbon footprints associated with disposal and manufacturing of new product can be restricted.
Along with the repair, proper maintenance of product can enhance its productivity, efficiency, and life-span. Also, the cost of maintenance is always less than the cost of replacement. One should follow the instructions and maintenance guidelines that are associated with the functioning of a product. Preventive maintenance i.e. maintenance require to avoid breakdown and for proper functioning should be prioritized instead of reactive maintenance which means maintenance after a breakdown.
Also, some small inefficient practices like operating any machine in non-prescribed conditions, must be avoided.
Take an instance of air-conditioner which requires regular cleaning and periodic services. Normally people ignore it which leads to more consumption of electricity and emission of gases. These result in an enhancement in overall carbon footprints. Simply by adopting proper cleaning, maintaining and operating it at slightly more temperature (24 degree), one can halve the amount of carbon footprint associated with it.
Reduction of Carbon Footprint can only be achieved by adopting simple measures everywhere and by everyone. Considering electrical and electronic products, one should always concern the overall power consumption and associated carbon footprints. Just by adopting simple repair and maintenance measures, the task can be done. Keep in mind, only we will be responsible for any disaster, not nature.