Upcycling Used Tech Equipment
Giving new life to old devices
Earth Day: reduce, recycle, reuse

Earth Day Every Day

The rapid advancement of technology leaves many school districts across the country facing a common problem: outdated and unused technology equipment. Many schools and districts have computers, charging carts and devices that no longer meet their needs. As we get closer to Earth Day (April 22), one solution to this problem is upcycling—the process of restoring used equipment to give it a second life and possibly a new function. 

Environmental Sustainability

Upcycling used devices and technology equipment is an environmentally sustainable solution to the enormous problem e-waste presents. Electronic waste, or e-waste, has become a challenge around the world: Many ports refuse to accept e-waste, which then ends up improperly disposed of in landfills. Toxic chemicals and heavy metals from e-waste can then leach into the water supply. By upcycling end-of-life technology, schools can help reduce the amount of e-waste that ends up in landfills. Properly recycling e-waste and upcycling also help conserve resources and energy that would have been used to produce new equipment.

Educational Opportunities

Upcycling used technology equipment can provide unique educational opportunities for students. Schools can incorporate upcycling into their curriculum to teach students about sustainability, engineering, and technology. Students can learn how to repurpose used equipment and turn it into something innovative and useful.

Increased Access to Technology

Many schools and districts struggle with providing students with the technology they need to succeed in today’s digital world. Supply chain issues and chip shortages have led to higher prices for new devices. Schools with budgetary constraints and growing classroom sizes are left with a shortage of devices—which have become integral to the learning curriculum. Upcycling equipment—which in many cases is only a couple of years old—allows schools and districts at all levels to compete in a highly-demanding, tech-reliant learning environment. 

Community Involvement

Upcycling used technology equipment can also provide opportunities for community involvement. Schools can partner with local businesses, organizations and individuals to collect and upcycle devices and other technology equipment. This can help build relationships between the school and the community while also providing a valuable service.

Cost Savings

Reusing/upcycling used technology equipment can be a cost-effective solution for school districts. EarthWalk’s buy-back program is an example of this model in action. Schools turn in outdated/end-of-life EarthWalk charging carts, devices and peripheral equipment in exchange for discounts on new technology purchases. The previously used items are either refurbished and sent to nonprofits and schools in need or—if they are beyond upcycling—they are properly disposed of according to environmentally compliant methods

Earth Day graphic

Celebrate Earth Day and take action to help the environment and your local community. Upcycling offers cost savings, environmental sustainability, increased access to technology and educational opportunities. Reach out to an EarthWalk sales representative to find out more about our buy-back program or if you have equipment that needs to be properly disposed of.

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