"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
Photo taken by me, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, August 2008
This week I am bringing to you another tip that is not only good for the environment but also beneficial to you. How many of you have old electronics that you know you won't use again but you just don't know what to do with? A film camera, an old gaming system or your first cell phone? These electronics and many more can be responsibly recycled with the help of websites like gazelle.com and econewonline.com.
According to gazelle.com, more than 350,000 cell phones and 130,000 computers are thrown away every day in America. In addition to taking up more landfill space, this can cause lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium and many other harmful agents to leak and affect the quality of our air, water and soil. These metals are toxic, and according to econewonline.com, 40 percent of heavy metals in landfills come from the disposal of electronic equipment.
Gazelle.com says, "Imagine a world where all electronics are put to use or responsibly recycled. You can help us achieve it. Use Gazelle to trade-in or recycle your electronics and leave us with clean air and fresh water."
Gazelle is easy to use. They buy 20 different types of electronics including cell phones, laptops, gaming consoles, mp3 players, camcorders and more. You, the seller, search for the item you no longer want, describe the condition and Gazelle gives you an offer price for that item which is based on its current market value. You then print a free shipping label and send the item to be recycled responsibly. On this site, you have the option of donating your money from the item to charity. If the item is in poor condition or has no current market value, there will be no offer price for you, however, you can still send the item to be recycled.
From Google Images
Gazelle.com has so far found a new home for more than 20,000 used electronics and responsibly recycled thousands more.
Econewonline lists two consumer benefits for tech recycling. 1) It is an easy way to get rid of unwanted electronics, responsibly. 2) The environment will thank you for doing the right thing.
This site works basically the same way. Find your device on the site, send it in and get paid. Unlike Gazelle, this site only takes 9 different types of electronics including laptops, mp3 players, LCD TVs, LCD monitors, game systems, digital cameras, camcorders, smartphones and desktops. Econewonline also gives money for the items you send in and it can be in the form of a Sam's Club, Sony or Visa gift card.
What makes this site different is that they do not ship any of their items overseas for reuse. According to their site, many recycled electronic parts are shipped overseas and flow legally or illegally into regions like China, Asia and West Africa where salvagers can often be seen in electronic graveyards breaking products down by hand to extract metals and glass. This exposes the worker and the environment to a toxic chemical cocktail.
From Google Images
Econewonline resells many of the electronics that are sent in. After they are sold to various resale and e-commerce channels, the products are often broken down into their raw material form and used to produce new materials.
Electronic devices taking up and contaminating landfills is a growing environmental problem that you wouldn't normally think of. These sites are doing the right thing and giving people an opportunity to recycle their electronics. Whether the items that are sent in are resold and reused or disposed of in a safe way, the environment is being saved one electronic device at a time.
So instead of letting those unused electronics sit around, make the decision to recycle them responsibly. Using these sites makes it easy for you to be good to the planet.
What do you think? Do you have old electronics and don't know what to do with them? Would you consider using these sites?