Are You Going Green?

It almost sounds like I should have posted this yesterday in honor of St. Patrick’s Day but that’s not the “green” I’m referring to.  I’m asking about “Going Green” to prevent toxic waste from hitting our landfills and to be more environmentally-responsible.

One of the questions I get asked by clients many times a year is “how can I properly discard my old computer equipment?”  The answer is not to put it curb side with the trash or disassemble it and scatter it piece by piece in different trash bins.  That is definitely NOT the answer. You’d be shocked if I told you how many times I’ve heard that disposal story.

PC’s are very toxic by design. The hardware is comprised of mercury, nickel-cadmium, arsenic, cobalt, zinc, copper as well as aluminum.  How’s that for a list of heavy metals that could poison the human body?  More toxic materials are used to clean printed circuit boards mounted inside the case.  A standard monitor can contain up to 10 pounds of lead and other heavy metals. Can you imagine what is currently in our landfills?  It makes me sick to think about it!

I don’t offer recycling as a service to my clients but I freely offer these few simple tips to help them Go Green. 

  1. Depending on the age of the computer, there are many charitable organizations that will accept them for recycling to needy individuals or sell them in their thrift shops.  Check your local Salvation Army, Good Will and different religious charities. You might be able to improve someone else’s life with your old equipment.
  2. If you have a toddler or pre-schooler, save the old PC just for their educational software.  Many of the educational software programs still run in DOS so you don’t need a powerful computer.  You can buy these programs for a few dollars at yard sales or on eBay.  And think about this, if the child smashes the keyboard, who cares because it was ready for the trash pile, right?
  3. Just last month (Feb of 2009), the Best Buy stores in all 50 US States started an electronics recycling program.  There is no cost associated with the recycling service except for CRT & LCD displays or laptops/notebooks. Recycling those pieces of equipment will cost $10.00, but Best Buy will offset that fee by giving customers a $10 Best Buy gift card.  If you live in the US, you can read all about the program here.  There is a FAQ section about the process and what they will not recycle so be sure to review that before taking the trip to your local Best Buy.

I don’t consider myself a tree hugger but I’d like to be able to dink a fresh glass of water without worrying about contamination so I hope you found these tips useful.  GO GREEN!

13 Responses to “Are You Going Green?”

  1. Hi Donna,

    I have enjoyed reading your posts, well written and presented in a professional manner.

    Good luck with the Masterclass.

    John

  2. HI Donna,

    This is Denise from the master class just stopped by to check out your blog.

  3. Thanks for browsing my blog Denise

  4. Hi Donna,

    Great post. I don’t think that we think enough about what we are throwing away or what else we might do with it. We just want to get rid of the clutter. There are so many other possibilities for it. Food for thought, thank you.

    Mandy

  5. Donna,

    We have something in common. My wife and I are going to do our first product on Green technologies.

    Jay

  6. Thanks for visiting Jay and good luck with your Green Technologies product!

  7. everyone should Go Green so that we can help the environment..`-

  8. going green is always the best thing to do. it helps the environment a lot.*:~

  9. going green is probably a wise choice because we need to protect our environment”:*

  10. we should always Go Green to help the environment, always use products that are earth friendly~*:

  11. it is always a good idea to go green because we always want to help the environment “:`

  12. You made some Good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree.

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