The season of gadgets will soon be upon us. There will be the “must-have” cell phones, 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 it go to waste. Here are my Top 5 Solutions to E-Waste.
1) Trade-In For Cash or Gift Cards
Don’t let your electronics go to rust in a landfill. They not only contaminate our soil 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. They and 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.
2) Donate to Goodwill’s ReConnect Program
If you have a computer, hard drive, or printer you are willing to donate, Goodwill’s ‘Reconnect’ program is ideal. The non-profit and Dell partner on ‘Reconnect’ where nearly 2,000 participating Goodwill locations across the US will accept any brand of computer equipment. Goodwill either sells or responsibly recycles the products and all the money made is used to create job training and employment opportunities for people in your community. Goodwill will also take care of wiping all of the personal information off of working hard drives.
3) Give Cell Phones to Soldiers & Other Good Causes
Cell Phones for Soldiers is another non-profit organization about which I am passionate. It 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 non-profits which collect cell phones for their missions.
4) Reconsider Your Upgrade
Before you upgrade to a new cell phone 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 since most of the gadgets we all buy do not get recycled correctly.
5) Get Involved
Take action where you live to help people responsibly recycle e-waste. Every state and community have different rules on regulating e-waste. The Electronics Take Back Coalition tracks e-waste laws state-by-state and promotes manufacturer responsibility.
Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, eco-expert and author of Do Your Part: A practical guide for everyday green living available at DoYourPart.com
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