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E-waste is yet another buzzword in the era of “green”-ing everything, but what exactly is it and how does it work? With the increase in use of electronic products over the past several years, we’ve accumulated our share of electronic waste, and disposing of such waste can be a confusing and sometimes inconvenient task. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests reusing electronics whenever possible by passing them on to new users or donating to schools or nonprofits. When items cannot be reused, recycling is key. Electronics contain precious metals, copper and engineered plastics that require energy to initially manufacture, and recycling those products results in lower environmental emissions. According to the EPA, “Recycling one million desktop computers prevents the release of greenhouse gases equivalent to the annual emissions of 16,000 passenger cars.”
Computers, mobile phones, laptops, monitors, printers, ink and toner cartridges, and televisions are all e-cyclable. Fortunately, there is no shortage of e-waste options in our area. Cameron Park, Placerville and El Dorado each offer e-waste drop-off dates and locations through their cities’ Solid Waste Divisions. All Green Electronics, a company with locations across the country, offers at-home and business pick-up capabilities, and has drop-off locations in Sacramento, Rocklin, Cameron Park and Placerville. What are you waiting for? Reduce, reuse and e-cycle!
Is your clothing loud enough? Possibly, but we bet that the women behind A Lot To Say would beg to differ. Two sisters left the corporate world with a vision to share a message. Utilizing the power of the written word, A Lot To Say carries a line of apparel and accessories made of 100-percent recycled products and via Earth-friendly processes. Shirts, pillowcases and intimate apparel are made of spun plastic from recycled plastic water bottles – all to make a statement. On each piece an eye-catching phrase explains an imperative environmental fact with a positive affirmation or challenge to raise awareness to sustainability. Accessories include umbrellas, yoga-wear, tank tops, bathing suits, totes and more. Only three percent of plastic in the world is being recycled, and A Lot To Say is making good use of it. And we think that’s worth talking about. To learn more, visit alottosay.com.
GREEN TIPS FOR FALL
With autumn fast approaching, the temperatures are dropping and leaves are falling. With hues of red, orange and yellow abounding, there are plenty of things to do that are green. Here are five tips for staying eco-friendly this fall:
- Compost your unwanted leaves in the yard to create organic, nutrient-rich soil that will be ready for use by the time spring arrives. Instead of bagging and placing them by the side of the road, begin planning your spring garden now.
- Bring any houseplants that have spent the summer outdoors in. They will help clean the air inside your home. Bringing plants indoors will provide natural air-purifying for a home that’s gotten stuffy with the air conditioner cranking all summer.
- Consider throwing a “costume swap” with the neighborhood or with friends for Halloween. It’s a great way to recycle those once-used Halloween costumes, save some money, and get to know your neighbors.
- Replace light bulbs with CFLs and consider installing lighting controls such as timers, occupancy sensors, and dimmers to reduce output and wattage. Reducing light bulb output is an efficient and measurable money-saver.
- Try an electric leaf-blower as opposed to a gas-powered one. They are quieter and more energy efficient. If you can’t compost, try eco-friendly lawn bags, like the YardMaster Biodegradable/Recyclable Paper Lawn and Leaf Bags.