New tech comes out every day, just look at this week: A possibly new Nexus tablet, along with Apple’s coveted iPad mini, (don’t forget all of the other stuff that came out at the Keynote) but what the heck do you do with the old gadgets you’ve got? You first instinct (if you decide not to give it away) would be just to throw it in the trash right? You’ve got no use for it anymore, so what else could you do with it if it’s not worth keeping around? You’d be wrong if you decided to throw it out. According to the EPA , recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in one year. In addition, for every million cell phones we recycle 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered. Don’t forget about the plastic materials that go into phones, tablets, and computers – that can all be recycled too. There are tons of companies that take part in mobile device recycling programs. Among them are: Apple Best Buy, Dell, LG, and Panasonic just to name a few. There are also tons of local organizations that specialize in electronic recycling; search your city for those – they may be closer to you than you think. Lastly, is there anything you should do before you donate, or recycle your electronics? The EPA suggests that you consider upgrading your hardware, and software instead of buying a brand new product if your products aren’t so far gone. You can usually supercharge your computer before it’s necessary to get a new one – upgrade the hard drive, the operating system, and add additional memory and RAM to beef up your gear. You should also wipe your hard drive so that you’re not dealing with a breach of your personal information later. Lastly, take out the batteries. Batteries usually need to be recycled separately. Recycling is good for everyone– it reuses materials that would otherwise need to be re-sourced , but it also gives our gadgets the opportunity to live on, even after we’ve decided that we don’t want them anymore. The process has been made much easier, and “e-cycling” centers are now widely available in most states. Need some other sources on how to recycle your tech, visit these links: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/index.htm http://electronicrecyclers.com/ (In California, Colorado, Washington, Texas, Indiana, North Carolina, and Massachusetts) A pretty cool recycling app http://1800recycling.com/mobile/ State recycling guidelines – http://1800recycling.com/state-guidelines/ Best Buy’s recycling program – http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Global-Promotions/Recycling-Electronics/pcmcat149900050025.c?id=pcmcat149900050025 Apple’s recycling program – http://www.apple.com/recycling/ Dell’s recycling programs: http://content.dell.com/us/en/corp/dell-environment-recycling
Earth day is here again, and with the world’s shift to an importance of green technology, and preserving the planet, we came up with some practices that you can use this year to keep your tech green. Who knows – maybe you’ll even keep it up, and start living a more “green” lifestyle. One of the easiest ways to stay green is really simple – power down any devices you aren’t using. You’ve got tons of things plugged into your walls – televisions, computers, and laptop chargers are probably among those things. When you aren’t using those devices, unplug them, or if you’re not in the room with them, turn them off. Not only will you be using less electricity, but you’ll save a little bit of money by not using energy while those devices aren’t plugged up. Another thing you can do is make your paper trail digital. Take those old receipts, high school love letters, and college essays, and scan them. Put them on a disc, and recycle all of that paper. By recycling, some one else will use that old paper that you might not need anymore, and who knows? That thesis you wrote may become a napkin, or a recycled paper shopping bag in its next lifetime. What else could there be for you to do? Well, why not shoot for the stars…Energy Star that is. Check out your latest and greatest gadgets and see how they rate with Energy Star. Energy Star rated technology means that your products are energy efficient, which in the long term keeps you a little more green. These are just a couple of things you can think about if you decide to celebrate Earth Day, or if you want to be more green in general. Taking these steps are just little ways that you can save some energy, and do your part to protect the planet.