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Earth Day Technology Tips

Earth Day
Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and there are lots of events going on around the world. Big or small there are many ideas and tips for going green this Earth Day.

This post highlights useful tips relating to Earth Day ideas for handling old technology equipment, recycling options and even energy efficiency.

Printing

Double sided printing is an easy option for saving on the amount of paper used in the office. For anther way to reduce the amount of paper used for text heavy print jobs consider changing the standard page margins to “narrow”. This will allow more text to be printed per page, meaning fewer pages to print overall.

Recycling

Electronics

Consumer electronics such as computers, televisions and mp3 players are part of the vast and ever changing technology landscape. Keeping up with updates and upgrades means that consumers frequently purchase new items to replace electronics that are often still working. Because most consumer electronics are made of a variety of components including glass, plastic and wiring and can include toxic chemicals, proper disposal of out of date electronic equipment is important. Many of the components can actually be recycled. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) eCycling program provides additional information on recycling consumer electronics including information about where you can donate equipment. For more information on the eCycling program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/index.htm.

Batteries

Many electronics rely on battery power. Because batteries contain harmful and toxic materials including lead and mercury, proper disposal of batteries is important for the environment as well as for your health. Illegal dumping and improper disposal of batteries can allow hazardous chemicals to enter the environment. This link from the EPA provides additional information for proper disposal of batteries:  http://www.epa.gov/wastes/conserve/materials/battery.htm.

Cell phones

Just like other consumer electronics, cell phones and smart phones are quickly evolving. Users are frequently updating their cell phone to get the latest technology. As with consumer electronics, cell phones contain a wide variety of materials including plastics to metal components. Recycling cell phones is one of the best ways to ensure that these materials are reused. Don’t forget that cell phone batteries should be recycled as well.

Several cell phone providers offer recycling options: http://www.epa.gov/wastes/partnerships/plugin/cellphone/.

Energy Efficiency

Unplug adapters when equipment is charged or not in use. Adapters draw energy when they are plugged in, even if they are not in use.

Take a look around the Energy Star office for more examples of how to save energy in the workplace: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=bygtw.view_showOffice.

There are many earth-friendly options to consider when dealing with technology. Keep these tips in mind for home or office use.

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