Sunday, March 7, 2010

Avoiding E-Waste

Electronic waste is admittedly a bigger, badder, more toxic-to-humans problem than plastic waste. I haven't taken it on though, because 1) people don't tend to use an electronic device just once and then toss it like they do with plastic and 2) electronics contain a LOT of plastic, so it is the same issue in some ways.

I am moving apartments in a couple of weeks, and trying to lighten my load before the packing starts. Yesterday I took 3 bags of clothes and shoes to Goodwill, and today I gave away my TV to someone I found through Craigslist with a 'free stuff' ad. Freecycle would have worked too. I'm trying to sell my DVD player, but will donate it to Goodwill or Salvation Army for a tax deduction if I don't find a buyer. I could have done that with the TV, but without a car, having someone come to pick it up works better! And he seemed thrilled to get it. I'm glad it will be used.

(All my movie and show watching is on the computer these days, using Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc. The TV hadn't been turned on in almost a year.)

Here are ways to avoid E-Waste:
- Think hard before buying- do you REALLY need it to begin with?
- Consider buying used
- Give or sell your items to a friend who can use it, or find someone with Craigslist and Freecycle
- Donate your working items to Salvation Army, Goodwill, Materials for the Arts, or other charitable organizations who will take them- you may be able to get a tax deduction.
- Utilize store recycling programs like Best Buy's.
- Find local electronics recycling events. Check out New York City's here.

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