Tips to Reduce Your e-Waste
  • Architects of Change

04/21/10 | Reena De Asis | 7 Comments

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Reena De Asis

Are you one of the average consumers who replaces her cell phone every nine months?

In a world of constant electronic upgrades, we’re generating more than 3.2 million tons of e-waste in the U.S. each year alone, according to the EPA.

But it doesn’t have to be this way -- your e-waste can be reduced, reused, or recycled. Here’s how:

Choose green electronics

In the market to buy a new electronic gadget? Choose one that will generate less waste:

  • Visit Greenpeace International’s Guide to Greener Electronics, ranking the top 18 manufactures of personal computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change.
  • Scan through the myGreenElectronics searchable database for green products. (This site is loaded with solutions -- including tips on how to fix and extend the life of your electronics.)
  • Find products that have the ENERGY STAR logo, indicating that they are energy efficient, which will help you save on your bills, too.


Reuse or sell your e-waste; Don’t let it gather dust

  • Donate your working e-waste to a friend or a charity. If, for instance, your old cell phone is still usable, consider donating it to a good cause. Cell phone donation locations, programs and drop-off sites are available nationwide. Recycle with CollectiveGood and support regional charities. To make recycling easy, CollectiveGood has drop-off sites like Staples stores, or you can send them your phone via mail.
  • If you feel like making a little money by selling your e-waste, consider listing it on ebay and be part of the Rethink Initiative, educating and enabling members to take action to reduce e-waste.


Locate local recycling options

Recycle on the go. Download Earth911’s iPhone app iRecycle, or visit TIA E-cycling Central to find the nearest recycling center accepting select recyclable items – like compact fluorescent light bulbs, computers, phones -- based on your zip code in the U.S.

Join a recycling incentive program

Need a little incentive to recycle, like earning points that you can redeem for stuff? As a member of RecycleBank, you can earn points by participating in a curbside recycling program. The weight of your cart will determine how many points you earn, redeemable from over 1,500 partners such as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Whole Foods, CVS Pharmacy, etc. To date, the material recycled by the households they service has enabled RecycleBank to save cities tens of millions of dollars annually in landfill disposal fees, save over 1.5 million trees, and save millions of gallons of oil.

Participate in manufacturer and retail recycling

The Electronics Takeback Coalition has an online list of manufacturers that have a voluntary takeback program.


Take it from Kermit, who figured out it isn’t so hard to be green after all, “I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful and I think it's what I want to be.”

Reena De Asis is a MarCom professional with experience in the corporate, agency and non-profit sectors. As an enthusiastic, resource-savvy and creative solution leader, she embodies the innovative main character in Amelie. When she's not initiating a corporate volunteer program or organizing a renovation mural project, Reena immerses herself in live music or savoring chocolate nuggets of wisdom. Words to live by: "My life is my message," by Mahatma Gandhi. Her passion is www.laworks.com

More by Reena De Asis: Skip the Staycation: 7 Ways to "Earn" a Real Vacation


More on How to Go Green:

Kim Barnouin on How to Save Your Waistline & the Planet

Debbie Levin's New Tips on How to Clean Green

Save Money (& Your Health) By Going Green by Whitney Lauritsen

Debbie Levin on How to Green Your Holidays

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Comments

  • One stop shop of great resources here. The resale and recycling information is key, as we all have items collecting dust and taking up space at home. Thank you for sharing this information. This is an excellent starting point for those seeking a greener lifestyle, but don't know exactly where to begin.

    Posted by EPsMom, 29 April 2010.

  • We are so lucky to have someone like you to put all those recycling info in this article. Very informative and a great one. I would pass it on to all my friends and my new job and of course let's all go "green".

    Posted by AngieF, 27 April 2010.

  • Reena, this is perfect! Thank you for collecting all this information in one simple easy location.

    Posted by Kzdorje, 26 April 2010.

  • Wonderful. Thank you for reminding us how to bring green and technology together and to take responsibility to care for our environment. There are many useful resources here that I will pass on.

    Posted by arunarigdzin, 26 April 2010.

  • Loved all the of great information. I try to reuse and recyle whenever I can and am always looking for ways to do it. I am in the market for a new cell phone and will definately look for a greener option!

    Posted by salsaprincess, 25 April 2010.

  • Great article - very informative! We try to be environmentally conscious in my home, recycling, living vegetarian, starting organic garden, and buying organic on most household items, but I'd honestly never given much thought to my ewaste as I try to pass on to others, but when I can't I'm so glad to know there are so many awesome resources to help keep ewaste low.

    Posted by froggeeluv, 25 April 2010.

  • This was such helpful vital information for me!!! Always want to know how to be more eco consious!

    Posted by Avalon Solange, 22 April 2010.