Why buying refurbished devices is better for the planet
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Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.


Typically, new device models don't feature that many noticeable advances, meaning waiting in line every September at the Apple store when a new iPhone comes out isn't necessary. A better solution is to instead buy refurbished.

Back Market, for example, sells all types of refurbished devices, including smartphones, computers and laptops, tablets, wearables, and more from your favorite brands. Plus, their team of experts check each device's functionality and works to restore it to the best condition possible. You can also rest easy knowing your refurbished device comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty.

Refurbished devices, while not brand new, are certified by an expert and are available at up to 70% lower prices. Not only are refurbished devices better for the environment because less waste is being generated, they're also better for your wallet.

Back Market also offers amazing deals on the items students need for back to school, plus an extra 5% off the already discounted prices to those enrolled in a college or university, so there's really no excuse not to buy refurbished.

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While we can't reverse the damaging effects e-waste has already had on the environment, making responsible purchasing decisions can help slow down the amount being produced each year and have a lasting impact on the planet.

According to a 2017 Report from the U.N, all the countries in the world combined generated a staggering 44.7 million metric tons, or an equivalent of 13.4 pounds per inhabitant, of e-waste in 2016. Most of this waste is going straight into the landfills.

The same report states that only 20 percent was collected and recycled. But even the e-waste that is recycled is often improperly handled, being exported to developing countries where people work to recover valuable materials from the devices and end up exposed to toxic chemicals, according to Columbia University. E-waste toxins are also known to contaminate the air, soil, and groundwater.

While concern for the environment is high, particularly among younger generations, many people don't know what e-waste is.

Vivianne Lemay

According to a survey, 71% of millennials and Gen Z consider the environment to be a more important concern than the economy, but 60% of them were unfamiliar with e-waste and its impact on the environment.

With the effects of global warming becoming increasingly apparent, taking measures to slow down the production of e-waste is crucial.

Motherhood is a journey unlike any other, and one that is nearly impossible to prepare for. No matter how many parenting books you read, how many people you talk to, how many articles you peruse before having kids, your children will emerge as completely unique creatures who impact your world in ways you could never have anticipated.

Those of us who have been parenting for a while have some wisdom to share from experience. Not that older moms know everything, of course, but hindsight can offer some perspective that's hard to find when you're in the thick of early motherhood.

Upworthy asked our readers who are moms what they wish they could tell their younger selves about motherhood, and the responses were both honest and wholesome. Here's what they said:

Lighten up. Don't sweat the small stuff.

One of the most common responses was to stop worrying about the little things so much, try to be present with your kids, and enjoy the time you have with them:

"Relax and enjoy them. If your house is a mess, so be it. Stay in the moment as they are temporary..more so than you think, sometimes. We lost our beautiful boy to cancer 15+yrs ago. I loved him more than life itself..💔 "- Janet

"Don't worry about the dishes, laundry and other chores. Read the kids another book. Go outside and make a mud pie. Throw the baseball around a little longer. Color another picture. Take more pictures and make sure you are in the pictures too! My babies are 19 and 17 and I would give anything to relive an ordinary Saturday from 15 years ago." - Emma H.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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