Earth Day and computers | What the Tech?

Earth Day and computers | What the Tech?

As you're thinking about Earth Day, think about your technology, especially your computers, and the steps you can take to cut down on your electronic waste.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — Earth Day is Monday and it’s important to think about how small changes can improve the environment, like with our computers.

The EPA says electronics make up over 60 million tons of waste each year.

How can we make our computers last longer to keep them out of the landfill? A few things.

Today’s computers should last 6 or 8 years or even more. But a few things can shorten their lifespan: accidents, heat, a virus, or malware.

Dropping a laptop of course will destroy the computer. If it’s something like what you’ll see in the video above, a shop can likely repair it with original parts. Liquids kill more laptops than you might believe. If the laptop gets wet, turn it off immediately. Unplug it from electricity and remove anything plugged into it.

Let it sit overnight at least before turning it back on.

Heat is responsible for its share of computer kills. Keep it ventilated by opening it up and use a can of compressed air to clear the dust. You shouldn’t place desktop computers directly on carpet. It needs ventilation. Raise it above the floor to let it get air.

You shouldn’t turn off your computer every night but you shouldn’t leave it running for days at a time. Turn them off every couple of days to give them a rest and install any updates.

When you turn off a computer, use the option in settings rather than doing a forced restart with the power button.

As for malware and viruses, software will block most viruses from running and will remove any. And the biggest cautionary step you can take is never clicking a suspicious link in an email, website, or social media post.

If you can’t repair your computer, Best Buy and Staples will recycle them for free.

You can donate working computers to Tech for Troops, a non-profit that provides computers and phones to veterans. Using a “Give Back Box”, you can download a shipping label for $20 and mail it to the organization.

Computers have metals and toxins that are dangerous to pets, people, and the environment. You should keep that out of landfills.

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