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Remember to E-Cycle!

2012 June 14

By Lina Younes

Electronic items are popular gifts for dads and recent grads. Items such as computers, widescreen TVs, game stations, camcorders, eReaders and mobile phones quickly come to mind as ideal gifts for that special person. Personally, I like looking at the ads for electronic items in the Sunday paper to see the latest gadgets available in the market. To me it’s fascinating to see the latest technological developments in electronics. It’s hard not to resist buying the latest computer that is much faster, much lighter, and has a longer-lasting battery.

However, if you decide to buy the latest game system, computer, or cellphone, what are you planning to do with the old one? Have you heard of eCycling? You can donate computers, TVs, cellphones to non-profit organizations to extend the life-cycle of those items. I’m sure they may still have more years of good use. However, there is another option that is even better for the environment. How about recycling your used and unwanted electronic items? That’s known as eCycling!

The process of eCycling allows many of the valuable metals and components in those electronics to be reused in other useful products. Did you know that most electronic products contain valuable resources such as precious metals and engineered plastics which require considerable energy to manufacture? By recycling, these valuable materials are recovered for future reuse. During this process, virgin resources are conserved and there is a lower environmental impact overall. To put these numbers in context, did you know that in the United States by recycling approximately 414,000 tons of electronics in 2007, the release of greenhouse gases prevented was the equivalent of the annual emissions of more than 178,000 cars?

So, whether you’re recycling a computer or a cellphone or a TV, check with the store where you’re buying the new electronics. They will likely have an eCycling program available so you can safely retire your used electronic products. Furthermore, states, municipalities and schools have computer collection programs for their residents from time to time to help protect the environment.

Just some ideas on how to go green with your electronics. Any suggestions? We will love to hear from you.

About the author: Lina Younes is the Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison for EPA. Among her duties, she’s responsible for outreach to Hispanic organizations and media. She spearheaded the team that recently launched EPA’s new Spanish website, www.epa.gov/espanol . She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. She’s currently the editor of EPA’s new Spanish blog, Conversando acerca de nuestro medio ambiente. Prior to joining the agency, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and an international radio broadcaster. She has held other positions in and out of the Federal Government.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. June 21, 2012

    hi, Lets be inspired by nature everyday!

  2. June 26, 2012

    Some good tips Lina. I didn’t know about eCycling before I read this. At least I can use this information in a practical way. Keep up the good work!

  3. July 11, 2012

    You really make it seem really easy along with your presentation however I find this matter to be actually one thing that I feel I would never understand. It kind of feels too complicated and extremely huge for me. I’m taking a look forward on your subsequent publish, I will try to get the hang of it!

  4. July 23, 2012

    That was trends of the technology, latest and updated info. I like that very much. Thanks!

  5. Solo Ads for Sale permalink
    October 30, 2012

    No to mention the valuable precious metals used in the circuit boards and wiring that can be recycled… Great article Lina!

  6. pitopere permalink
    June 18, 2014

    However, there is another option that is even better for the environment. How about recycling your used and unwanted electronic items?

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