April is Earth Month, and Earth Day is on the 22nd. So to celebrate, why not spring clean your tech? Using your tech longer and replacing it less often helps the environment because you aren’t using more raw materials and plastic than you need to. Then, you can recycle your tech when it’s absolutely necessary to get a new device.
Want to spring clean your tech but don’t know where to start? Read on to find out how you act sustainably while keeping your tech running smoothly.
Digital Spring Cleaning Makes Devices Run Faster
Is your aging smartphone or computer starting to run slowly? This Earth Month, try giving it a refresh by cleaning up your files and installing anti-virus protection. This could give it a new lease on life and means you don’t have to shop for an expensive replacement before you need to.
Get Rid of Unused or Temporary Files to Speed Up Your Tech
Phones and computers have limited digital storage space. If you have lots of unused software or files, you may not have enough space when you want to download a new app. Additionally, a full hard drive can also slow down performance. Along those lines, lots of programs running in the background can also drain your battery and cause annoying crashes.
However, getting rid of files manually can take a while. Luckily, you can save time with digital spring-cleaning apps like CCleaner. This software has versions for most computers and Android devices. It gets rid of temporary files you don’t need automatically, including:
- Automatic backups of files
- Your browser’s cache
- Outdated versions of software or device drivers
- Needless startup programs
Tech Spring Cleaning Should Also Include Virus Protection
It’s also a good idea to use a virus scanner to spring clean your tech by removing malware. Most devices come with basic security software that runs in the background, but running a manual scan every few months keeps malicious code from clogging your device over time.
Avast is a free virus scanner that works with most phones and computers. Not only does it delete viruses, it scans files before you open them and will even alert you if an app on your device is behaving suspiciously. Using the Avast virus scanner is simple, and it only requires 2 GB of hard drive space.
Look to the Cloud to Help Spring Clean Your Tech
Instead of deleting your files for good, you can spring clean your tech by uploading them to the cloud. Storage services like Dropbox let businesses and individuals store data and access it from anywhere with internet access. This way, you can spring clean your tech, free up space on your devices, and still be able to look at your old files whenever you need to.
You may be familiar with Shutterfly, the company that creates customized prints, greeting cards, and home décor from your photos. Maybe you’ve already made customized gifts through the site for friends and relatives. But did you know that Shutterfly also runs a cloud-based photo storage site?
For regular Shutterfly customers, they offer unlimited photo storage with high security. All you have to do is purchase something from Shutterfly every 18 months for your account to remain active, then you’ll have access to the photo storage option.
Recycle Your Tech to Reduce E-Waste & Maybe Even Get Paid
Spring cleaning can also mean getting rid of the old devices that you no longer use. Unfortunately, electronics like laptops and phones aren’t safe to throw away in the trash because materials in the batteries are dangerous if the device is broken.
The good news is that many devices are recyclable and you can get rid of the extra clutter outdated devices create while helping the environment at the same time. And in some cases, you even can spring clean your tech and make some extra cash, too.
Decluttr is a tech recycling service that lets you mail in your devices. They’ll send you an offer, and if you agree, they will send you your funds a few days later. If you don’t agree, they’ll send your devices back at no charge. (Shipping is free and insured.) Decluttr also deletes all your data to protect your privacy and security. You can see if Decluttr will accept your device by searching the list of items on their website.
If your tech isn’t on the list of devices Decluttr accepts, you can try e-waste recycling service GreenCitizen. GreenCitizen accepts most items with a battery or a plug. Mail-in recycling is available, and recycling is free for:
This company also accepts small appliances like microwaves and vacuum cleaners. Recycling costs $1 per pound for items that aren’t free. Data destruction is available for an additional fee as well.
Clean Your Device To Keep It Looking & Working Right
One way to help out this Earth Month is to keep on top of your tech maintenance. Keeping your electronics clean will help them last longer and prevent waste, which lessens the burden on our planet’s resources.
Dirt and debris can hurt how a laptop, tablet, or cell phone work, which causes them to have a short lifespan. Many people use devices like phones and computers multiple times per day, so they can easily accumulate dirt and dust. Plus, if you don’t spring clean your tech, it could even become a home for microorganisms.
Compressed Air Is an Easy Way to Keep Your Tech Clean
With many devices, a damp cloth can’t reach into every crevice. But you can use a can of compressed air like the Dust-Off Disposable Duster from Falcon Safety to remove dust and other materials from keyboards, the edges of touchscreens, and other areas.
Hold the compressed air can at about a 45-degree angle to clear debris away from your device. If you send air straight onto the surface of your device, you may blow fragments into your device instead of removing them.
Ditch the Disposable Cleaning Wipes for a Truly Environmentally Friendly Way to Clean Your Tech
Many people keep their tech clean with disposable wipes designed for electronics. However, they create more waste. If this is a concern of yours, try the HÄNS Swipe reusable cleaning tool, which, according to the company, has kept more than five million single-use wipes from being thrown in the trash over the last five years.
This handheld device has a cleaning side filled with cleaning solution and a soft polishing side. The cleaning solution is refillable, and the polishing side uses a soft, washable microfiber cloth. The HÄNS Swipe is simple to use, and it lasts for hundreds of cleanings before you need to wash or refill it.
As an added bonus, its compact design means you can easily take it to work or use it to clean your smartphone on the go.
Remember to Spring Clean Your Tech Year Round
It’s easy to spring clean your tech for Earth Month, but why not make it a year-long practice? Use these easy tips to clean your old devices, clear out unused apps, or help cut down on e-waste by recycling your old tech.
By using your electronics for longer and recycling them when it’s time to move on, you not only save money, but you help the environment, too.