April 22, 2010 – Today marks the 40th anniversary of the first official Earth Day! Even in the world of technology, consumers can find eco-friendly products and ways to follow the 3R’s for a healthy planet.
You’ve heard of recycling paper, plastic bottles, glass, and cans, but what about electronics? When your router stops transmitting or your scanner just won’t scan, you usually think it’s time for the landfill, but hold on! There are plenty of places that take old electronics either to be refurbished and reused, or stripped to their central components and reused in various ways.
Cell phones are one of the most commonly discarded electronics due to the popularity of the “new every two” plans where users get new handsets every 2 years. Most phone carriers have recycling programs, just ask yours! Used cell phones are repurposed in several ways:
- Data wiped and donated to charities like HopeLine
- Refurbished and resold at discount
- Stripped into parts which are rebuilt into functioning phones or used as recycled materials
Some of the major carriers offer some special programs as incentives for recycling your old phones. Sprint offers a credit toward a new phone or accessories by using a “Kelley Blue Book” style value system. You can look up your phone model and see what it’s worth, then bring it to a Spring store.
For those phones just too old or damaged to be given a new life and purpose elsewhere, they’re still destined for greatness! The broken components that can’t be recycled into a new unit are often melted down to their raw material states, becoming anything from steel beams in a new building to a plastic chunk of a park bench.
Cell phones aren’t the only things you can recycle, either. Stores like Best Buy offer free drop off of ink cartridges and batteries, as well as some larger electronics. Your local landfill can also provide you with information on proper disposal of electronic equipment, including places to donate viable pieces.
Apple has even gone GREEN, offering a 10% trade-in discount for your old iPod if you bring it in to one of their retail stores. If you don’t live near an Apple Store, they still offer free mailing service for recycling your iPod or mobile phone. When upgrading to a new Mac in a retail store, you can sign up for free recycling of your old system, too.
Recycling isn’t just for physical materials! Did you know that you can repurpose your website content, too? Just because a blog post appears on your website doesn’t mean you can’t post it elsewhere! Syndicating your content on other websites not only helps to drive traffic to your site, but it gets your name out there too.
When choosing to reuse your content in other ways, be mindful of duplicating it completely. Just how a plastic bottle looks nothing like it originally did when it’s reused to make playground equipment, your content needs to be unique on each page of your site or else search engines are going to ignore you.
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