If your business is like most American businesses, you’ve got lots of technology backing it up: computers, fax machines, printers, and other office equipment. But when those systems fail, maybe it’s time to make those electronics, if you’ll pardon my literary license, ride off greenly into the sunset.
At the recent Greener Gadgets Conference sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association, keynote speaker Saul Griffith, founder of Low Cost Eyeglasses and Squid Labs said that we “must embrace a culture of maintenance and repair since the throw away option is no longer available.”
Electronics such as computers, telephones, televisions and the like are responsible for both cluttering up our landfills and releasing toxic chemicals into the environment as they slowly breakdown. How about when it’s time for used electronics and spent computer-related items to go, we send them off in a greener direction.
Cell phones: most cell phone manufacturers have recycle programs. You can send them back to their makers who will either refurbish and resell them, or use them for spare parts. You can also donate them to various charities or sell them for a little extra change online. (If you do this, make sure that you remove all of your data. We’ve all heard the nightmare stories, haven’t we?)
iPods: return old iPods to the manufacturer. Apple will refurbish and recycle them or sell them for spare parts.
Computers and printers: return them to manufacturer when you buy the new one. Many stores have a “trade in” as part of a sales deal to entice you in. You can also turn them over to schools, charitable groups, libraries or churches. (Just have to make sure to get all the personal information out of the computer before you release it.)
Printer cartridges: *always* get recycled. Even the small home-use ones are routinely sold with mailing envelopes for recycling.
TV’s: Millions of TV’s will be set out on the curb this year. The “digital conversion” that has now been delayed to June has inspired many people to get new HDTV’s. Sometimes stores will remove the old set when they bring the new one. Also because of the HDTV phenomenon, cash value for old tv sets is neglible. Try freecycle.com. Or again, try the charitable groups and churches.
You can see your business’ used equipment “go green” this year, with just a little extra effort on your part.