October 31, 2011 in Features

Do Your Part: Avoid letting old gadgets go to waste

Terri Bennett McClatchy
 

Down to Earth

For more on local green living, go to www.downtoearthnw.com.

The season of gadgets will soon be upon us. There will be the “must-have” cellphones, tablets, computers, gaming devices and all the rest of it.

So what happens to your old electronics once you’ve upgraded? Do your part and don’t let them go to waste.

Trade in for cash or gift cards: Don’t trash your electronics in a landfill. They not only contaminate our environment with toxic heavy metals but they’re also still quite valuable.

There are many websites devoted to giving you cash or gift cards for your unwanted gadgets. EBay’s Instant Sale program allows users to instantly sell or recycle their old electronic devices like laptops, camcorders, PDAs and more.

Other sites such as NextWorth and Gazzelle do the same thing and offer pre-paid shipping labels. And, you won’t have to guess how much it’s worth; the websites give you that information in seconds.

Give cellphones to good causes: Cell Phones for Soldiers provides prepaid calling cards for U.S. troops stationed overseas with every donated cell phone they receive.

March of Dimes, Keep America Beautiful and Call To Protect are other nonprofits that collect cell phones for their missions.

Reconsider your upgrade: Before you upgrade to a new cellphone or other device, take a good look at the item you are about to stop using. Do you really need the latest model or does the one you have now do the job?

Curbing some of our electronic impulse buys will help keep even more e-waste out of our landfills.

Get involved: Take action where you live to help people responsibly recycle e-waste. Every state and community has different rules on regulating e-waste. The Electronics Take Back Coalition tracks e-waste laws state-by-state and works to promote manufacturer responsibility.

Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, author and founder of DoYourPart, everyday green living ideas that are better for you and the planet. Send questions to terri@doyourpart.com and follow DoYourPart on Facebook and Twitter.


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