Laptops are an amazing tool for learning, creating and communicating. They have become an essential part of our everyday life in the UK, don't believe me? Walk into any coffee shop in a city and I guarantee at least one person will be on a laptop. So how can we make sure our essential electronics last as long as possible? Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Don’t rest it on a cushion while you are working
I see this all the time with my friends - they leave their laptop on the sofa or a bed, and it can really take a toll on your laptop’s battery. The fan is often located on the bottom of the laptop, so by placing on something like a blanket, you are keeping that heat in the laptop, causing it to work harder - this means that your laptop is going to wear out much faster.
2. Keep it updated
So often the reason your software isn’t working properly is you’ve ignored its requests for updates. I know they can take a long time and be annoying, but they help to fix any bugs and keep the software working efficiently.
3. Keep it clean
Dust and dirt can make its way into the keyboard easily, and from there it can work its way down into the mechanisms which keep your laptop running smoothly. By removing as much dirt and dust and regularly cleaning your laptop, it will stay cleaner and last longer.
4. Turn it off!
Giving your laptop a rest can really help. The issue with having it on all the time is that even when it’s in sleep mode, processes are still whirring away so that when you open the lid it can be ready more quickly. Everyone needs a little break now and then, and your laptop is no different.
5. Simple upgrades
With most machines, you can add extra RAM and change the battery quite easily, the easiest way to learn how to do it is through youtube tutorials. If you’re not the most techy person, you could head to your local reuse network gathering to find someone who will be happy to lend a hand.
Why would I want my laptop to last longer?
With the growing problem of e-waste, it’s not as simple as just buying another one. The truth about what happens to commercial e-waste after you’re finished with it is that it’s often shipped to another country with more lax regulations regarding waste disposal than the UK. The people who work at e-waste dumps don’t get the essential training you need to avoid getting sick from the hazardous chemicals which e-waste contains.
E-waste is globally increasing by 2 million tons a year
The average UK household spends almost £800 on electrical products annually
This equates to a total of about 1.4m tons and almost the same amount is thrown away.
A report by WRAP* revealed that almost 40% ends up in a landfill and less than 10% is reused although most of it still works or can be repaired.
E-waste is a fast-growing issue, with between 20-50 million tons being
produced around the world each year. The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. Furthermore, as much as 80% of the energy used across a PC’s working life is expended during its manufacture, before it is even switched on.