For my survey, I decided to conduct questions that would help me find out whether or not consumers really consider the materials or after life of their products when it comes to electronics.
1. Which electronic device that you own do you replace most often? How often do you replace it on average?
Most of the answers to this question were cell phones or iPods and were replaced pretty frequently, averaging about once a year.
2. On a scale of one to five (one being the lowest, five being the highest) how concerned are you about recycling your electronic devices when their life span is up?
The most common answer to this question was a 3, which basically translates to the fact the consumers are typically aware of available recycling programs but don't really think to take the initiative of sending them to be recycled. This could also be attributed to not knowing about the negative impacts that electronics can have sitting in waste dumps.
3. Would you rather buy a computer that was faster and used toxic materials, or would you settle for one with sustainable materials but did not perform as well? Why?
Most people preferred a faster computer over a slower one with less toxic materials. A common argument was that a higher quality computer with toxic materials would sustain itself in a sense because it would end up lasting longer. However, in the long run, no matter how long it lasts, it doesn't necessarily mean that the consumer will keep it til its end of life span since there are always new and updated technologies coming out every day.
4. When buying a new phone, laptop, or other electronic appliance, what do you look for before purchasing? (ie: quality, performance, color screen, etc.) Do you ever consider the materials it's made out of whether it be external or internal?
Pretty much everyone that answered this question said that they looked for quality when making technology purchases. Also because they claim that something with better quality would last longer.
5. If you had an opportunity to change or improve the "recycling" programs for electronics, what would you do?
What was interesting about this question was that in the end the products would still end up with the recycling programs which not all necessarily recycle the electronics correctly. A lot of the products that end up in the underdeveloped countries come from many recycling programs that have sold them to a broker who then in turn sells them illegally to people in these countries.