E-waste is already a major problem. It is claimed in 2009 by the EPA from the US that only 25% of over 181 million mobile devices, televisions and computers were thrown away were actually recycled. The fact is that people are buying more and more electronics and producing more and more e-waste. With the attendance of wearable devices in the technology ecosystem, at WT, we care about how wearables become more eco-friendly and sustainable. The answer is right below !
RecycleHealth as a part of Tufts University in America is a charity organization who collects unused wearable activity trackers. RecycleHealth aims to provide refurbished devices to the people who wish to use them to increase their fitness but they cannot afford it.
At the moment, RecycleHealth is working with existing fitness programs including a weight loss challenge at Montachusett Branch YMCA in Fitchburg, MA. By asking people to complete surveys they collect information about how wearable devices support people increasing and sustaining fitness. Through this RecycleHealth expects to gain information from users who are older or weaker than the typical wearable purchaser. Besides, RecycleHealth is enlightened from hearing people’s story and understanding their motivation of obtaining a wearable device to the reason why they donate them.
RecycleHealth finds a solution for saving e-material by giving wearable devices to those who would use them but cannot afford. On the other hand, Lisa Gualtieri informed WT that most people are grateful to know their unused wearable devices will have a second life through RecycleHealth
Recycled wearable devices
There is another way to recycle wearable devices. It is to produce a wearable from recycled e-waste! Bejamin Hubert launched a very friendly wearable wristband called Worldbeing. It is made of recycled e-waste; meaning discarded plastics and circuit boards then injection-molded into an agglomerate material. Moreover, the Worldbeing’s purpose is to encourage people to help in saving the Earth by lowering their own carbon footprint. When you buy things with the Worldbeing, it puts real-time information on what you’ve purchased and from where into their smart device app. After analysing the person’s carbon footprint, Worldbeing encourages users to buy locally from more environmentally friendly stores. Additionally, Worldbeing can track other carbon metrics such as place you are travelling and the means of transportation you are using. At the end of the day, it comes up with an estimate on how much carbon you are responsible for each day.
Wearable devices are still struggling to create sustainability in their production. This leads to many unanswered questions and challenges. However, engineers are beginning to lower their e-waste by saving products which not only help evolve inner thinking and overall wellness; such as your activity trackers and sleep trackers. This action also promotes outer thinking and helps provide solutions to social problems like climate change. Wearables are expected to become the next best friends of human beings that we will keep closely to our side for a long time.