Spring Greening

Now is a great time to spring clean but instead of tossing techno-waste and other items in the trash, where it ultimately ends up polluting the planet, you might consider some eco-friendly strategies provided by Earth Conscious retailers and organizations.

Batteries

Lowes, Home Depot and other stores recycle rechargeable batteries for free.   Look for drop-off locations at call2recyle.org.  The single-use batteries like AA’s no longer contain toxic metals so it’s okay to trash them, but seal them in a plastic bag to avoid acid leak.

CD’s, DVD’s and Games

Best Buy offers recycling for free and you can swap or sell items on sites like gamestop.com.

 Cell Phones

Best Buy and Target offer complimentary drop boxes. You can also recycle through organizations like Cell Phones for Soldiers (cellphonesforsoldiers.com), who put cash toward calling cards for overseas troops or The National Cristina Foundation (cristina.org), who match used tech equipment and local firms like schools or nonprofits. In most cases you pay for shipping but its tax deductible. You can check out how to dispose of your particular brand of phone through digitaltips.org.

CFL Light bulbs

IKEA, Lowes and Home Depot have designated bins available. CFL’s have mercury so seal them in plastic bags. Check for other locations that accept them through earth911.com and type in your zip code.

Computer Parts

Staples, Office Depot and RadioShack accept computers as well as keyboards, printers and scanners for free or a small fee. Apple offers gift cards toward new models when you return towers, monitors and laptops. Find details at digitaltips.org. Other sites that recycle some items without charge are gazelle.com and nextworth.com

Other Gadgets

Best Buy is great for dropping off TV’s, DVD players, iPods, digital cameras, camcorders, remotes, speakers, printers and video game equipment. They recycle for free or a small charge. Tube TVs larger than 30 inches aren’t accepted but can be hauled away with the purchase of a new one. Certain items can be traded for gift cards, cash or percentage discounts on other products. Visit bestbuytradein.com for details.

Please try to recycle your high-tech junk. If you can’t, consider greendisk.com, which safely recycles items for you.

Via May 2011 Family Circle Magazine

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