Buying refurbished Computers versus Brand New and its Impact on Environment

Posted on June 3rd, 2023

Buying refurbished Computers and Laptops can have a significantly lower carbon impact compared to purchasing brand new products. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Extended Product Lifespan: Refurbished products are typically items that have been returned, repaired, or restored to a fully functional condition. By purchasing refurbished equipment, you’re giving these products a second life instead of adding to the demand for new manufacturing. This helps to reduce the overall environmental impact associated with producing new goods.
  2. Reduced Manufacturing: The manufacturing process of electronic devices, such as smartphones or laptops, requires significant amounts of energy, raw materials, and water resources. By choosing refurbished equipment, you’re avoiding the need for new manufacturing, which lowers carbon emissions and conserves resources.
  3. Minimized E-Waste: Electronic waste, or e-waste, is a growing concern globally. When you buy refurbished products, you help reduce the amount of electronic waste being generated. E-waste often contains hazardous materials that can harm the environment if not disposed of properly. By extending the life of a device through refurbishment, you’re reducing the need for disposal and contributing to waste reduction efforts.
  4. Energy Efficiency: Older electronic devices often have lower energy efficiency compared to newer models. However, if you compare the carbon impact of manufacturing a new device versus using an older one, the energy consumed during manufacturing can outweigh the operational energy savings of a newer, more efficient device. Therefore, using a refurbished device can still be environmentally preferable, especially if the energy consumption during manufacturing is considered.
  5. Sustainable Consumption: Choosing refurbished products promotes the concept of sustainable consumption. By reusing and extending the life of products, you’re reducing the demand for new resources and promoting a more circular economy.

It’s worth noting that the specific carbon impact of buying refurbished versus new products can vary depending on various factors, such as the energy efficiency of the refurbished device, the manufacturing process of the new device, and the distance traveled during shipping. However, in general, buying refurbished equipment tends to have a lower carbon footprint compared to purchasing brand new items.