MyGreenElectronics.org's, Guide to Sage Electronic Decisions
We all get it- Global Warming is happening. Outside of buying different light bulbs, what can be done? How do you wade through all the “green products” and make the most informed decisions possible? MyGreenElectronics.org is a Consumer Electronics Association website aimed at demystifying the lush leafy world of electronic greenness.
The site is divided into 4 instructional sections of 4 R’s- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rethink.
This section contains an energy calculator that breaks down impact of various devices in your household such as TV, Notebook PC, DVD player, etc. It calculates, on a per average basis, how much it costs to have electronic devices in use, asleep, and off by the time increments you enter in. You may be surprised how much money a merely plugged in device can eat up.
An informative section is “Tips for saving energy.” A few of these include: buy items with the “ENERGY STAR” label (Energy Star is a joint program of the US Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy). Go digital on your thermostat. Unplug chargers once device is fully charged. Or my personal favorite- Ask your employer about working from home or a satellite business location to cut your commute. I can see it now, “Come on boss, it’s for the environment!” Well, maybe you will have better luck.
Other sections of “Reduce” include “Tips for extending the life of your electronics with proper care” and “Repair or replace?” The latter contains a link to Consumer Report’s “Fix it or Nix it?” which is a useful table identifying problems of many electronics and whether to keep ‘em or junk ‘em.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Ebay’s Rethink Iniative is really pushed here. After all what better place to start getting green then on the largest internet marketplace that boasts a member community of 157 Million computer users? They give you the option to donate, recycle, or sell your products through their vast network.
Another interesting group listed here is Inveneo. They are a non-profit social enterprise that is attempting to bring ultra low power, economical desktops computers to rural areas of war torn and economically depressed countries with a view to equipping and empowerment. These are operable on a 12 Volt battery or alternate sources of energy such as solar/wind/generator. With 20 projects completed, it’s focus has been primarily in African countries- Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Burkina Faso and Mali.
Here there is a very informative list of major corporate company programs for recycling products. HP has had a program in place for 20 years in 40 countries! Who knew!
On a more local level there is the Zip Code Search. It allows you to find programs in your area for recycling. You can narrow your search based on the product you wish to recycle.
Make smarter, greener choices at time of purchase rather then after. You do not have to sacrifice aesthetics to be green. Your wallet need not be a martyr either, if you do it right, and do it smart.
Being environmentally conscious is all the rage now. Green is the new pink, but don’t reduce it to merely a term thrown around at dinner parties. Make it mean something. MyGreenElectronics.org is a valuable and resourceful site for any person to make this happen.