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To minimize the environmental impacts of electronic products, consider various product attributes before purchasing. Choose products that have reduced toxics content (i.e., reduced lead, mercury, and other heavy metals), greater recycled content, higher energy efficiency, longer life expectancy, and ease of upgradeability, and contain features that facilitate recycling at end-of-life. Consider whether leasing electronic equipment is appropriate for your organization. Also, consider purchasing refurbished or remanufactured electronic equipment.
When evaluating electronic equipment to determine if it can be upgraded or repaired, purchasers should look for products that:
Purchasers also should look for product attributes that will, when the time comes, facilitate recycling through ease of dismantling and sorting. Select products that:
Other questions to consider when selecting new electronic equipment include:
These characteristics can help extend the life of your electronic equipment, delay the need to purchase newer equipment, and reduce the cost of recycling at end-of-life.
Purchasers who don't want the responsibility of dealing with end-of-life equipment, but still prefer to use the most up-to-date products, should consider leasing instead of purchasing. This option allows them to return old equipment to the vendor for upgrades or credits toward future purchases. Leasing also eliminates consumer responsibilities for proper product disposal or management because they do not own the equipment. Another option involves selecting a dealer, retailer, or manufacturer that operates a product take-back program and allows consumers to return old equipment when purchasing new products or system upgrades.