Posts tagged ‘footprint’

Our Online and Electronic Footprint- Part Two

Keeping Electronics Out of Landfills

In our modern society, we are surrounded by technology. When things break, our first thought is to throw them out. However, all of these electronics fill up our landfills and can be harmful to both humans and the environment through run-off. According to the StEP (Solving the E-waste Problem) Initiative, 48.9 million tons of gadgets and electronics were thrown out worldwide in 2012. Most of these electronics could have been repurposed or harvested for parts, which reduces our resource consumption and keeps electronics out of landfills. Many electronics stores are now offering recycling programs where you can bring in your old TV’s, computers, and other electronics for repurposing. Some places even offer store rewards for bringing in materials, such as gift cards or discounts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a great list of places that accept mobile devices, TV’s, and computers.

Other stores and organizations will accept unwanted parts such as ink cartridges, digital cameras, and MP3 players. Headphones can often be hard to find places to recycle them, but ThinkSound provides discounts on new purchases for every pair of headphones turned in. Office Max also offers rewards for turning in old ink cartridges. A quick search on the internet for the item you are looking to recycle will bring up plenty of options other than simply throwing it away. E-cycling Central also has a great list of companies and organizations by state that recycle a variety of electronic devices and materials.

Before You Buy That New Smartphone…
We are always being bombarded with the latest version or new model of cell phone and many times millions of people are running to their phone carrier to get what ever that might be. But what happens to all of those “outdated” models? Instead of throwing your phone in the trash, consider donating it to a charity that will repurpose them for those in need. There are many local and national organizations that will take donations, such as Cell Phones For Soldiers. This non-profit takes old cell phones, refurbishes them, and sends them to troops overseas so they can call home. Other organizations include National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Hyla. Some of these organizations will even buy your old phone from you.

Many wireless providers also have trade-in plans where you can turn in your old phone and receive a discount or money towards your new phone. This includes AT&T, Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and other major providers. Check your provider’s website or ask an employee what your options are before you buy something new.

Reducing our electronic and online footprint is easier than you think. By reducing the amount of time you spend online and recycling any old, unwanted, and broken technology, you can lower your carbon footprint, be more engaged in your life, and even help those in need. While we can’t solve climate change in one day, every little actions makes a big impact. So unplug those devices, turn in those old electronics, and help make a difference!

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October 9, 2014 at 8:56 am Leave a comment

Bags, bags, everywhere!

It is now illegal to dispose of clean, usable plastic bags in Madison. Time to break out the reusable bags!

Did you know that it is now illegal to throw away usable plastic bags in Madison? The City Council put this into effect on Sept. 1st, 2009. There will soon be recycling stations throughout Madison where citizens can dispose of their plastic bags. Here is a news article with more information.

If you’re like me, you get annoyed when you see a plastic grocery bag stuck in the branches of a tree, and when your house is overflowing with plastic paraphernalia. One way to save money and to reduce the consumption of plastic and your carbon footprint is to use reusable bags when shopping.  Many stores offer a 5-15 cent reduction per bag, and these savings are by no means insignificant. They can be found in many different sizes, styles, colors, and materials. Reusable Bags has good-quality, affordable reusable bags for men, women, and children. What I especially found practical were LunchSkins reusable sandwich and food bags.

It takes up to 1000 years for plastic bags to biodegrade in our landfills, so every reusable bag used helps, especially since 88.5 billion plastic bags were consumed in the U.S. last year (EPA).

Shop with a good conscience and have fun!

October 20, 2009 at 3:43 pm Leave a comment

Do you want to change the world?

You already change the world, each day, by how you live. We all do–we can’t help it. The question is, how can we change the world in as gentle a way possible?

Here at EnAct, we believe sustainability is really an application of the ethics that we all learned in kindergarten:

  • Don’t take more than your fair share.
  • Leave things better than you found them.
  • Share and be gentle.

There are lots easy actions you can take to live a more sustainable life. EnAct can help you discover those actions, and can help you learn about the issues here in Madison and around the country.

We’ve got plenty to share and to celebrate. In fact, the Natural Resources Defence Council recently named Madison its #1 medium-sized Smarter City because of all we do to make this a sustainable place to live.

Be green and have fun,

August 25, 2009 at 6:13 am Leave a comment

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