How To Save Your Own Computer

April 22, 2019, marks the 49th anniversary of the very first Earth Day. It is an important event in the modern environmental movement which drew large crowds to the streets to protest the deteriorating environmental conditions. One thing that makes a small difference is e-waste. Keep reading to learn how to save your computer and the environment!

What is E-Waste?

Electronic waste, also known as E-waste, are the unwanted electronic devices that you throw out. Items such as keyboards, old computer monitors, outdated cell phones, and broken MP3 players are all considered E-waste.

These discarded electronics can be hazardous to the surrounding environment if they have not been properly disposed of. This is because they contain metals such as lead, mercury, lithium, and others which can contaminate the ecosystem and leach into our drinking water.

As a consumer, the life of your electronic devices end once they leave your house, but this doesn’t mean they have disappeared. In fact, many of these discarded electronics end up in third world countries where they have polluted living environments and imposed health risks on local populations. You can see haunting pictures of what these Electronic Graveyards look like at these articles from The Atlantic here and from Wired.com here.

How Computers Contribute to the E-Waste Problem

As a computer user, think about when the last time you bought a new computer. It might be two to three years ago, or maybe even ten if you are lucky. In fact, most computers last up to five years, with your average mid-range laptop lasting around three years. This means that most people will likely go through more than ten computers in their lifetime.

Municipalities usually have their own E-waste recycling program. But this doesn’t mean that people will bring their out-dated computers there. Some old computers still end up in landfills or in third world countries as it costs a lot less for them to be recycled there.

The screen, keyboard, mouse, and other components inside your computer all contribute to our planet’s growing E-wastes. In fact, in the year 2016 alone, over 44.7 million metric tonnes of E-waste were generated, which is the equivalent of 4500 Eiffel towers. This number is only projected to increase to 52.2 million metric tonnes by 2021.

How to Extend the Life of Your Computer

Since it’s impossible to live without any electronics in this day and age, extending the lifetime of your computer is one of the best ways you can help reduce E-wastes. Continue reading below for some tips on how you can extend the lifetime of your computer.

Quality not quantity

Like with purchasing anything, buying a quality computer will make it last for a longer period of time, it can also help you avoid additional repair costs. Consider purchasing a quality laptop that will last you more than the standard five years. This way, you will not have to spend more money to replace it in the long run.

Drain and recharge the battery regularly

If you have purchased laptops in the past, you may have noticed that your laptop’s battery loses its ability to hold a charge over time. That’s why it’s a good idea to unplug your laptop’s charging cable once a week. Even though you can never overcharge your computer’s battery, this will allow your laptop’s battery to drain out completely and then recharge, thus extending the overall lifetime of your computer’s battery and its ability to hold a charge.

Keep it clean

Keeping your computer clean internally and externally can maximize your computer’s lifetime. Start off by cleaning the external components of your computer, such as the fans and the air vents. You can use compressed air to do this.

To keep your computer clean internally, consider uninstalling any programs you don’t use. You can do that by following these instructions here. Also, don’t forget to run a FixMeStick scan every month to remove viruses that could be clogging up your computer!

Haven’t tried FixMeStick yet? Check it out here.

21 comments

  1. glena clearwater - Reply

    thanks for the e-waste info – living in a VERY small town we tend to get left behind in the recycle – reuse – repair syndrome because everything is more about big cities. I am on the local Eco Team for the town and will do some focus on the e-waste for next month

  2. Joy - Reply

    I do not understand all the information given when shopping for a computer. How can I tell if which computers are better quality?

  3. Leona Burns - Reply

    Thank you so much for the e-waste information. In the past we have a local dump and every month our area had a day to take your old computers, keyboards etc. Now they have set up a location there so that it can be taken there at any time, which is great.
    I find it very disturbing that everything we purchase now has such short life spans and then thrown out in no time.
    I appreciate the information FixMeStick sends out to keep my computer in good working order. It is very helpful.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Warren, we offer the PRO FixMeStick subscription that allows you to use the FixMeStick on an unlimited number of computers.

  4. Ann Crichlow - Reply

    Thanks for all the information. Glad I was able to answer all the questions.

  5. Philip Royle - Reply

    Sometimes the most obvious things in life are the ones that we regularly overlook, so the information was well received and informative. The fixmestick has been my best investment to date and has continued to identify hidden viruses not detected by other virus software.

  6. Rose - Reply

    Ok. So I just unplugged the electrical source from my computer,NOW HOW LONG DO YOU SUGGEST THAT i LEAVE IT UNPLUGGED IN ORDER TO SAVE LIFE IN THE BATTERY? THANK YOU,
    Respectfully waiting for a reply

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Rose, that’s a good question. You can leave your computer unplugged until the next time you use it. Or you can wait until your current battery cycle runs out before recharging it.

  7. Diane - Reply

    How do you identify what programs you should uninstall on my computer. There’s so many things listed. I can’t tell what is important and what is not.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Diane, you can checkout this website linked here to see what programs you can uninstall on your computer.

  8. Barbara Clements - Reply

    THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION.
    I have installed the Premium package for Dashlane. This has fixed my issue with
    getting Fix Me Stick going within seconds vs hours of fiddling around. Youy also had a promotion on McAfee. Mine is running out. Can I get a good price from Fix Me Stick? Hope someone sees this.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Barbara, we offer a $55 discount on McAfee for FixMeStick customers. You can take advantage of this offer by clicking here.

  9. Anonymous - Reply

    Ok I did not see a response but my computer just died without the battery charging, So I figure that it lasted a couple of hours. I have now plugged it back in to the electrical source. Bye for now and you do not have to respond.

  10. William Paris - Reply

    Conserve is a possibility, but how or where do I get rid of the stuff in the appropriate manner as not to cause pollution etc?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi William, that’s a good question. We recommend going over to your closest recycling depot that will take electronics for recycling.

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