Ereaders

E-books – try it, you’ll like it

By Jacqueline Rios

I am an avid reader, sometimes reading an entire book in a weekend. I was having trouble trying to figure out what to do with all the books I read. I tried giving them away or recycling them. So I made the transition to reading books from the New York Public Library System. It seemed like a good way to follow the “reuse” principal of recycling.

Then, about a year and a half ago, I made the transition to e-books. Not only is there no paper, but it is a lot easier to carry on crowded subway cars. I thought it might be hard to adjust from paper to electronic reading, but it could not have been easier! And for those who have trouble reading small print, the font size is adjustable.

Even with electronic books, though, you can use the New York Public Library System. They have a number of e-books in various formats, including Kindle. Early last month, the library announced that Simon & Schuster and Hachette publishers are providing e-books for library users; meaning the NYC Public Library System has the full participation of the nation’s largest publishers.

If you are a New York City resident and have a library card, try an e-book. You do not even need a special electronic reader. Apps such as the Kindle app work on all kinds of tablets, including iPads. If not a New York City resident, try your local library and see what they have to offer. You might be pleasantly surprised.

About the Author: Jacqueline Ríos is an engineer with EPA Region 2 working on clean water programs.

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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Remember to E-Cycle!

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.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.