Celebrating Earth Day 2024: Camara Education’s impact on e-Waste Reduction

Earth Day:

As we celebrate Earth Day 2024, the need for sustainable practices has never been more pressing. In a world increasingly reliant on technology, the issue of electronic waste (e-waste) has emerged as a huge environmental concern. At Camara we are making a difference by refurbishing and reusing IT equipment, keeping it out of landfill while providing essential digital skills to thousands of students in Africa.

In 2023 alone, we estimate that Camara’s ITAD (Information Technology Asset Disposition) activities deferred over 8 million kilograms of CO2 emissions, saved over 5 billion litres of water that would otherwise have been used in manufacturing equipment, and avoided the mining of over 33 million kilograms of earth for mineral extraction.  Meanwhile we supported 387 schools, old and new, installed more than 4,000 computers and trained over 2,000 teachers, imparting digital skills to at least 175,000 young learners.

Camara Education’s Mission:

Founded in the belief that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty, Camara Education is a non-profit organisation dedicated to transforming education and disseminating digital skills to underserved students in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia. Our mission extends beyond just providing access to computers; we strive to ensure that these devices are used effectively and sustainably, through teacher training, local educational content and maintenance of our computer labs to enhance learning outcomes. 

The Problem of e-waste:

E-waste, comprised of discarded electronic devices, poses a grave threat to the environment and human health. With the rapid pace of technological advancement, electronic devices are being replaced at an unprecedented rate, leading to a staggering accumulation of e-waste. Improper disposal of these devices results in toxic chemicals leaching into soil and water, as well as contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. According to a recent study, the UK generated the 2nd largest amount of e-waste per capita in the world, while IT and telecoms e-waste almost doubled in the UK between 2008 (19,053 tonnes) to 2022 (37,631 tonnes estimated).

The Role of ITAD services:

Computer refurbishment and reuse plays a crucial role in mitigating the environmental impact of e-waste. By partnering with certified ITAD providers, Camara Education helps ensure that retired electronics are handled in a more sustainable manner, while also providing educational opportunities and crucial IT skills in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. 

Camara adopts a comprehensive approach to IT asset disposition. Our ITAD partners ensure absolute digital security and a full audit trail for all devices we handle, to the highest international standards. Any equipment that cannot be reused is recycled with zero landfill. Inevitably, all devices will eventually reach the end of their usable life. When they do, our local offices endeavour to arrange collection of all of them, and their environmentally responsible recycling through our partner facilities in-country.

ITAD equipment

Environmental Impact:

By refurbishing and redistributing computers, Camara extends the lifecycle of electronic devices, thereby reducing the demand for new products. This not only conserves precious natural resources but also reduces the energy and carbon emissions associated with manufacturing new electronics. Additionally, by diverting e-waste from landfills, we prevent harmful pollutants from contaminating the environment.

Earth Day:

As we reflect on Earth Day 2024, it is clear that the preservation of our planet requires collective action and innovative solutions. Camara Education’s commitment to combating e-waste while disseminating digital skills exemplifies the potential for the transformative power of technology in promoting sustainable and social equity. By supporting Camara, you can help contribute to a more sustainable future for generations to come.

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