Did you know that gaming has a substantial impact on the environment? Learn how you can reduce your environmental footprint as a gamer and reduce e-waste.
Gaming is a hobby for millions of people. However, it's important to know the gaming industry contributes to the growing e-waste problem and several other negative environmental trends. E-waste includes unwanted electronic devices that end up as universal waste and contaminate landfills and other waste sources. If you want to assist in minimizing gaming’s impact on the environment, there are some ways you can help. Keep reading to learn what gamers can do to reduce their environmental impact.
Use Energy-Efficient HardwareYou can minimize your energy use as a gamer the same way you would minimize your energy costs throughout your home—by using energy-efficient appliances. When selecting gaming consoles or investing in a gaming PC, choose the most recent generation models with energy-efficient hardware built in. This will help reduce the carbon emissions these accessories produce while in use. Many gaming consoles have energy-efficient settings that you can enable, such as automatically shutting down after periods of inactivity and energy savings modes. Even simple habits such as shutting down your console completely instead of leaving it in standby mode can prevent wasted energy.
Use Your Old Consoles for As Long as PossibleWhile it can be tempting to upgrade your consoles as soon as a new model hits the market, try to avoid this temptation if you can. Upgrading to new consoles and computers often means tossing aside your old electronics, which increases the e-waste you produce. Get as much use out of your old consoles as possible before you upgrade to new models. If your gaming consoles run into issues, check to see if they’re still under warranty before you buy a whole new system or parts. In some cases, you may be able to ship your console back to the manufacturer for a complimentary upgrade or fix.
You could also consider upgrading to a gaming PC, as many modern AAA games feature releases on both consoles and computers. A gaming PC will support more gaming releases with minimal upgrades over the years. And when you do upgrade your systems, make sure you do so responsibly.
Recycle Old Consoles and ElectronicsWhen you upgrade to a new console or gaming PC system, don’t throw your old electronics in the trash. This is wasteful on many levels and contributes to the amount of e-waste that ends up in landfills. Many e-waste recycling centers accept gaming consoles and computers as recycling goods. In fact, computers are one of the five types of e-waste you should always recycle. Check your local listings for electronics stores that practice in electronics recycling. Even big box stores such as Best Buy offer e-waste recycling programs. You can also check for designated recycling centers or small businesses that accept e-waste.
If you can’t find any local recycling options, consider shipping your gaming system to a remote e-waste recycling facility. And sometimes, the original manufacturer will accept old consoles and accessories in exchange for goods or credit toward your next purchase.
These are a few examples of how gamers can reduce their environmental impact. Remember these strategies the next time you boot up your computer or gaming console so that you can take steps toward a greener gaming environment. Practicing greener gaming habits can help you enjoy your favorite hobby with more peace of mind.