Environmental Impact

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Waste is the failure to take advantage of an opportunity.”
– wastetowonder.com

Sky’s the Limit is committed to the environment.
The average functional lifespan of a computer is roughly 2 to 5 yrs. Burning them creates carcinogens. Burying them contaminates the ground and water. STL diverts used computers from landfills.

Information from Environment Canada
In 2005, the amount of disposed computers and peripherals totaled more than 67,000 tons in Canada.

Canadians bury or incinerate 158,000 tons of dead and obsolete computers, monitors, printers, fax machines, TV’s, mobile phones and similar products every year. An estimated 4,740 tons of lead is contained in personal computers and televisions thrown away each year in Canada. In 2005, discarded PCs contained an estimated 4.5 tones of cadmium and 1.1 tones of mercury.

Toxins in Computers – Impact on Health

  • Barium (CRT): Intestinal illness, muscular weakness
  • Beryllium (electronics): Can damage bones, cause cancer
  • Cadmium (batteries and circuit boards): Kidney, liver, bone, and blood damage
  • Hexavalent chromium (steel): liver, kidney, nerve tissues and kidney disease, brain disorders in young children
  • Mercury (LCD, flat panel displays, batteries): kidney damage
  • Phosphorus (CRT): skin, eye, and stomach irritation
  • Brominated flame retardants (plastics, cables, CRTs): endocrine disruptor, neurotoxin

What can I do to reduce my carbon footprint?

  • You can make a difference without much difficulty. The most important thing is to educate yourself and take individual responsibility.
  • Think carefully about whether you really need a new computer. Could upgrading your existing computer serve the same purpose?
  • Upgrade the memory or hard disk space as much a possible;
  • Many small offices now have networks, which store documents so that the computer on your desk doesn’t need as much computing power;
  • Older laptops and desktop computers will usually support the use of a USB wireless stick – a small gadget like a USB memory stick which plugs in when needed to provide fast Wi-Fi access;
  • Strip your software down to the essentials – don’t use valuable space or processor memory on programs and files you don’t use;
  • Keep your computer well-tuned. You’re more likely to want to keep a computer longer if it runs better.
  • Become a workplace champion, and educate your colleagues
  • Make sure PCs are turned off at night and especially weekends
  • Don’t forget to turn off printers and other equipment
  • Make sure occasional and casual users of equipment are aware of need to shut down when they are finished
  • Set PCs to go on stand by if they haven’t been in use for five minutes
  • Use technology instead of travel
  • Print material only when necessary, and always use both sides of the page
  • Make greener computing part of your policies and future strategies
  • When purchasing new ICT equipment, choose energy-saving devices that have been manufactured in an environmentally-conscious fashion.
  • Dispose of old hardware responsibly; send old PCs to be reconditioned and recycled.
  • Find out how much energy your ICT systems use and monitor ongoing consumption levels.