Avoid electronic waste production

The production of computers places an enormous burden on the environment – and
one which is growing despite all increases in efficiency.

  • About 160 million PCs were sold globally in 2004.
  • The manufacturing of one PC spends about 535 kWh of energy *
  • For producing the microchips of one PC about 550 l of water are used/wasted *
  • 14 tons of material is required to produce one PC, which is often only used for three years.
  • The manufacturing and transport of one PC cause 112 kg CO2-emission *

* for a Pentium III, 1999

In Germany, at least 2,000,000 tonnes of electronic waste are generated annually. Alterations to the consumer strategies of use and attractive offers could result in a reduction in the burden on the environment, along with the conservation of resources the development of sustainable strategies of use in the computer sector. The reuse of computer hardware can contribute to reducing greenhouse-gas emission. “Because a substantial share of the total energy input emerging during the physical lifespan of a product is bound irrecoverably in its substance, [different] forms of care, maintenance, intensification and extension of use should mostly be preferred instead to substitute old hardware by new. (Niko Paech)"

The reuse approach is transferable to other regions, branches or products, e.g. ReUse-Velo referring (re)used bicycles.