COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (WLVT) — Are you searching for a cool tech gadget to give this holiday season?
Instead of shelling out big bucks for a brand new device, you might consider buying a refurbished one.
"It's a way to save money and the planet," Emma Horst-Martz, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group (PennPIRG), told PBS39.
The consumer advocacy agency just released its annual consumer guide for buying refurbished tech.
"The fastest growing form of waste in America is electronic or e-waste," said Horst-Martz. "In Pennsylvania, we throw away an average of 15,000 cell phones every day. You don’t actually need a new cell phone every year."
She says buying a refurbished cell phone is a good place to start, but pointed out that some pre-used tech is better off recycled.
"A couple of items we would warn against buying refurbished include televisions and computer monitors, because they have a track record of having problems once they’re broken," she said. "We also don’t advise you to buy refurbished wearable tech like smart watches, as they’re harder to fix down the road. Printers are also tough to fix."
Kate Keppen, who heads up the Office of Sustainability at Ursinus College, says refurbished systems don’t use as many new parts or materials and will reduce your carbon footprint.
"All of the things that electronics are made out of, like plastics and hard metals, they’re going into landfills," said Keppen. "It’s easy for us to purchase things, and it’s way too easy for us to throw those things away."
If you give the gift of repaired tech, she says you should definitely tell the recipient.
"Go all in on it! It goes into the story of: This is why I chose a refurbished gift for you. We are keeping things out of a landfill and this has a social and environmental impact," said Keppen.
To learn more about refurbished products, read PennPIRG's "Fixed for the Holidays" report here.
To learn how to fix, buy or sell a refurbished product, check out the links below: