Info bulletin

British Columbians overwhelmed by post-holiday electronic consumption

VANCOUVER: New research from BC Hydro finds British Columbians feel overwhelmed by the amount of electronics, and other items accumulated over the holidays.  

A recent survey1 commissioned by BC Hydro finds almost three-quarters of British Columbians admit to feeling overwhelmed by the amount of electronics and other items they have accumulated post-holidays. This includes over 13 per cent that feel they have more electronics than they need. The research also found:

  • 22 per cent opted to give tech or electronic gifts during the holidays.
  • Over 50 per cent purchased electronics during Boxing Day sale.
  • 20 per cent purchased electronics on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • Of those that purchase or are gifted the newer model of a device, such as the latest iPhone, 16 per cent will hold on to the older model as well.  

BC Hydro datashows that British Columbians have 50 per cent more electronics today, compared to 2010. The electricity used by smaller electronics has increased by nearly 150 per cent – from seven per cent to 17 per cent since the early 1990s.

In addition, along with newer devices, the survey found the majority (77 per cent) of British Columbians are still holding on to ‘retro’ electronics, including:      

  • 33 per cent have a VCR
  • Close to 50 per cent have a cassette or CD player
  • 13 per cent have a Discman or Walkman
  • Nearly 30 per cent have an old gaming console, such as a SEGA or Nintendo
  • 66 per cent have a DVD player

In addition to adding clutter to the home, old electronics – especially old televisions – can be a source of standby power when still plugged in. BC Hydro recommends recycling old or unused electronics at a recycling depot, such as one of over 250 Return-It Electronic recycling depots or collection sites in the province.

[1] Online survey conducted by Majid Khoury of 800 British Columbians between September 27 and October 1, 2019.

[1] BC Hydro residential end use survey 2017