Here’s something interesting to think about — at one time, a pencil was the newest technology known to humans.
Today, when you think about “technology,” you probably don’t think about pencils, you think about electronic devices. Cell phones, tablets, and game systems might come to mind. As you work on your holiday wish list, you might be dreaming of some new electronics. However, one of the best ways to reduce waste is to use older electronic devices longer. So instead of replacing them, maybe you could add some technology-related fun to your holiday wishes instead.
Instead of new electronics
Your wish list could include gift cards so you can download new music, games, or videos to existing devices. Maybe someone could give you a subscription to a video streaming service, like Netflix or Hulu. Or you can purchase new or used video games for older gaming systems with your gift money. When you are tired of your older games, some stores will buy them back from you. You can use the money for a new game that can be downloaded directly to your device.
But if you do get a new device
Sometimes, though, a new device is in order. When you do get new electronics, never throw the old ones into the trash. The materials inside them can cause pollution in landfills, but they can be useful in making new devices. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, “Electronic products are made from valuable resources and materials, including metals, plastics, and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Donating or recycling consumer electronics conserves our natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by manufacturing virgin materials.”
Consider giving old, working devices to someone else. You could donate them to an organization like a community center. You might sell them to a friend or a store like GameStop. You can even learn online how to take them apart and rebuild them. Finally, if there’s no life left in your electronic gadgets, recycle them. You can seek places to “e-cycle” in your community by contacting your local solid waste authority or look for locations online at Call2recycle or Earth911.
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