Sustainability Resources

Here are some awesome resources to help get you talking about sustainability and the e-waste problem with your students. Resources vary from statistical reports to articles to videos. This is a growing resource, so if you come across anything that you feel might be relevant, don’t hesitate to reach out! Don’t forget to stay up to date by following our blog at




Planned Obsolescence 

Electronics Manufacturing


Advocacy Groups/Policy


The Global E-Waste Crisis

An informative article on describing how our electronic waste is polluting drinking water and harming ecosystems around the world. It’s time to fix the problem.

Infographic: Just How Big Is the E-Waste Crisis?

A visual breakdown of the e-waste problem by product-type and geographic location.

Facts and Figures on E-Waste Recycling

A summary of available statistics that help us to quantify the problems of electronic waste and electronics recycling efforts.

In Your Phone, In Their Air

An article by the Washington Post detailing how the unethical mining of graphite, used in lithium batteries, is causing damaging environmental effects to both air and water quality in China.

The Story of Electronics

An entertaining cartoon showing the impact of consumerism in the electronics industry and the effects of our unsustainable material economy.

4 Easy Ways to Save the World

A description of four simple methods to be more environmentally friendly when it comes to electronics.

Re-thinking Progress: The Circular Economy

A video that illustrates the thinking behind the circular economy and how we can use our resources more efficiently as a society.

The Circular Economy: From Consumer to User

A short animated video showing what the application of a circular economy would look like from a consumer perspective.


E-Waste Recycling

Information on e-waste recycling standards and laws, and instructions on how to follow them.

Happy Earth Day! Don’t Recycle.

An article on why recycling shouldn’t be the first option, especially when it comes to electronics.

Recycling isn’t the Answer; It’s the Last Resort

An interactive page detailing why recycling isn’t as environmentally friendly as you think it is.

Fixing the World Together: iFixit + Electronics Recyclers International

A blog post on iFixit’s partnership with Electronic Recyclers International (ERI)—the largest recycler of electronic waste in the world—and how they're making repair possible for gadgets of all kinds.

Planned Obsolescence:

Planned Obsolescence

An informative video explaining why certain companies have incentive to create products with short lifespans.

The Phoebus Cartel

A “Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know” YouTube video explaining the history of corruption and planned obsolescence in the light bulb industry.

The Men Who Made Us Spend

A BBC documentary where reporters travel across the globe, tracing the rise of planned obsolescence—from deliberately shortened lifespans in light bulbs to non-replaceable batteries in the original iPod.

Electronics Manufacturing:

The Chemical Elements of a Smartphone

An infographic showing the elements involved in creating a smartphone along with how and where they are used.

Mineral Mining

iFixit's blog post detailing how mining minerals for short-lived products has long-term consequences on our people, our pocketbooks, and our planet.

"The Cobalt Pipeline" - The Washington Post

The environmental and ethical impacts of cobalt mining in the Congo. Cobalt is used globally in lithium-ion batteries found in most consumer electronics.

Smartphone Repairability & Tablet Repairability

iFixit’s ranking system for smartphone and tablet repairability.

Green Design vs Greenwashing

This article describes how the veil of greenwashing can be used by companies to hide non-environmentally friendly practices when it comes to product design.

Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics

Greenpeace's scoring system comparing how environmentally friendly technology companies are based off a thorough set of ranking criteria.


Junkyard Planet by Adam Minter

Minter traces the export of America's junk and the massive profits that China and other rising nations earn from it.

Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with trash

Edward Humes investigates trash—what’s in it, how much we pay for it, how we manage to create so much of it, and how some families, communities, and even nations are finding a way back from waste to discover a new kind of prosperity.

E-Waste Management: From Waste to Resource

Provides a holistic view of the global e-waste situation and details the current reserve supply chain and management of used electronics, including flows, solutions, policies, and regulations.

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America

A history of twentieth-century technology as seen through the prism of obsolescence. This book details a harrowing picture of how, by choosing to support ever-shorter product lives we may well be shortening the future of our way of life as well.

Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living

A photographic collection of disassembled objects show that even the most intricate of modern technologies can be broken down and understood, while beautifully illustrating the quality and elegance of older designs.

The Bike Deconstructed: A Grand Tour of the Modern Bicycle

Bicycle guru Richard Hallett dismantles the modern bicycle to uncover the origin, design, and evolution of every integral part.

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

Elizabeth L. Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut. What are we doing with all these cheap clothes? And more important, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being?

Advocacy Groups/Policy:

Electronic Frontier Foundation

The leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world.

The Repair Association

Environmentalists, independent technicians, and aftermarket companies that fight for the right to repair in the electronics industry.

Ellen Macarthur Foundation

A charity that has emerged as a global thought leader, establishing circular economy on the agenda of decision makers across business, government, and academia.

Raise Hope for Congo

A campaign in the Eastern Congo to improve human rights and end conflict, fueled by the elements harvested for our electronics.

Digital Responsibility

Based out of Silicon Valley, this group aims to educate young people on the personal and public consequences of technology.

Electronics TakeBack Coalition

An organization that promotes green design and responsible recycling in the electronics industry.


A non-profit organization dedicated to the responsible reuse, repair, and recycling of electronic products.

International Campaign for Responsible Technology

An international solidarity network that promotes corporate and government accountability in the global electronics industry.

UNEP E-Waste Plan

A focal area for UNEP’s Global Partnership on Waste Management (GPWM) to develop sound management of e-waste in developing countries and sustainable business plans in developed countries.


The federal environmental program established to address abandoned hazardous waste sites.

EPA: Electronics Donation & Recycling

The EPA’s resources on why you should recycle and how/where to do it.

Good News! Fixing Your Car Isn’t Illegal Anymore!

iFixit's blog post announcing that as of October 28, 2016,  you can now hack, repair, and conduct security research on your own car—or tractor!—without risking jail time for copyright infringement.