Archive for May, 2009

Earth Day 2009: Recycle Cell Phones for Charity

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

    As cell phones, computers, and personal digital assistants (PDAs) become more prominent in our everyday lives, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency encourages consumers to recycle these products instead of adding them to our nation’s landfills. For Earth Day this April please consider donating and recycling your wireless products to Recycling for Charities and receive a tax deduction.

    Cell phones and accessories are made from valuable materials such as precious metals, copper, and plastics – all of which require energy to extract and manufacture. Recycling cell phones results in environmental savings.Recycling cell phones reduces greenhouse gas emissions and conserves natural resources. There is also a strong secondary market for used cell phones and for donation to charitable organizations. If cell phones cannot be reused, the components are nearly 100 percent recyclable. Currently, only about 10 percent of unwanted cell phones are recycled each year. Last year Plug-in partners collected 11 million cell phones for reuse and recycling.

    Recycling cell phones can save enough energy to power more than 2,035 U.S. households for a year. Recycling the 100 million cell phones that are no longer used annually would save enough energy to power more than 18,000 households for a year.

    EPA has teamed up with leading cell phone makers, service providers, and retailers to launch this national campaign to encourage Americans to recycle or donate their unwanted cell phones. Donte cell phones, PDAs, iPods or digital cameras and all accessories and cord to Recycling for Charities online, or with one of their 650+ participating charities throughout the USA.

    The Toxicity of Cell Phones

    Sunday, May 31st, 2009
    • The circuit boards in cell phones contain myriad toxins such as arsenic, antimony, beryllium, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc.
    • Brominated flame retardants are found in the plastic housing, printed wiring board, and cables.
    • The lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride batteries contain heavy metals such as cobalt, zinc, and copper.
    • Many of these chemicals are Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins (PBTs) and have the potential to be released into the air and groundwater when burned in incinerators or disposed of in landfills, thus creating unnecessary threats to human health and the environment.
    • Preliminary testing by the Department of Toxic Substances Control has shown that cell phones are likely to be determined hazardous at end-of-life and will require management under Universal Waste regulations.
    • Universal Wastes must be recycled or managed as hazardous waste. Disposal at an unauthorized site or landfill is a serious crime as well as a serious environmental threat.
    • Additional research by Dr. Timothy Townsend of the University of Florida for the US EPA has also found cell phones to leach hazardous levels of lead when disposed in landfill conditions.

    Recycling on Earth Day 2009

    Thursday, May 21st, 2009

    This earth day in 2009 marks the will mark the beginning of The Green Generation CampaignTM which will also be the focus of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2010. With negotiations for a new global climate agreement coming up in December, Earth Day 2009 must be a day of action and civic participation, to defend The Green Generation™’s core principles: Family with windmills: Renewable energy for future generations.

    • A carbon-free future based on renewable energy that will end our common dependency on fossil fuels, including coal.
    • A global recognition of water bottle plastic recycling standards.
    • Standards in which consumers will have an outlet to recycle common items that are a part of their life, like cell phones and iPods with charities like Recycling for Charities.

    • An individual’s commitment to responsible, sustainable consumption.
    • Creation of a new green economy that lifts people out of poverty by creating millions of quality green jobs and transforms the global education system into a green one.

    Under the umbrella of The Green GenerationTM, thousands of events are currently being planned in schools, communities, villages, towns and cities around the world. As in 2008, on April 19th Earth Day Network will celebrate Earth Day on the National Mall in Washington, DC, plus large-scale volunteer events in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, Austin, Atlanta, and DC in partnership with Green Apple Festival . We want to make Earth Day a time for meaningful change, so sign up to restore and give back to the community! And after you’re done giving back, celebrate with a free “thank you” concert for all our volunteers!

    Our partners in Cleveland, Columbus, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Beijing, and Manila, among others, are planning large events where everyone can participate. Recycling for Charities will have a recycling drive ongoing on their website where consumers can donate and receive a tax deduction. We will also be apart of Royal Oak, MI Earth Weekend event April 24th on Main St.

    Find an Earth Day event or activity near you!

    Wireless Cell Phone Recycling Facts

    Sunday, May 3rd, 2009
    • Over 70% of Americans do not know that they can recycle their old cell phone.
    • Less than 5% of obsolete cell phones are refurbished or recycled.
    • In a recent survey, only 2.3% of Americans recycled their old cell phones.
    • Cell phone manufacturers and service providers have voluntarily implemented recycling programs and recognize that retail “take-back” of old phones represents the lowest cost and most convenient recycling model.
    • Unfortunately, these programs are not well advertised and inconsistent. Only a fraction of retail cell phone outlets are currently providing their customers with recycling options.
    • Of those who turned in their old cell phone to their service provider, only 18% were offered recycling as an option.
    • Surveys suggest that 90% of Americans would recycle their cell phone if there was a convenient drop-off location at a store near them.

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      10 Amazing Recycled-Trash Homes

      Friday, May 1st, 2009

      Are you seeking a “green” way to build your next home? We’re operating on the principle that one person’s trash is another person’s castle. While trash isn’t always free, using cast-offs to build a home is a great way to recycle. While the homes below use tires, cans, earth, plastic water bottles and other items – or a combination of these items – the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination and your local building codes.

      If you’re expecting “trashy” results with this recycling effort, we hope that our choices listed below will surprise you with their depth of creativity, beauty and charm. Although the homes are listed in no particular order, this does not mean that we favor one trash method over another or one design above any other layout. (more…)

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