How to Safely Dispose of your Electronics

Electronics contain an alarming amount of harmful chemicals. Here is a list of chemicals that are in your electronics: Lead, Mercury, cadmium, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, Polyvinyl chloride, lead acid, lithium, arsenic and the list goes on.

The best way to safely dispose of old electronics is to ship or drop them off at companies here in the US that will correctly recycle or dispose of them.

Here is a list of companies that will do that for you.

Sony’s National Take Back Recycling Program. You can recycle old electronics or rechargeable batteries free of charge.

Dell Recycling. You can recycle your unwanted Dell-branded products for free.

Apple Recycling Program. Apples recycling program is a bit different. Purchase any qualifying Apple computer or monitor and receive free recycling of your old computer and monitor — regardless of manufacturer.

Sharp Toner Recycling. Free recycling for your Sharp toners.

Panasonic has a Refurbishment, Recycle/Exchange Program. It doesn’t say if there is a charge for recycling your batteries, computers or toners.

HP recycling services provides an easy way to recycle computer equipment, printing supplies, rechargeable batteries and other items.

If you want to donate your computer and get tax credit check out eCycling for details and lists of local programs.

If you want to know what state E-Waste laws and bills are under consideration for 2008 check out e-takeback. They also have information on how to find recyclers in your state.

Please consider these options when getting rid of old electronics. Just a little work on your part does a lot for our environment.

Freeganism – How can we do our part?

What is Freeganism? The Wikipedia definition says – Freeganism is an anti-consumerist lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on “limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed.” The lifestyle involves salvaging discarded, unspoiled food from supermarket dumpsters that have passed, or in some cases haven’t even passed, their sell by date, but are still edible and nutritious. They salvage the food not because they are poor or homeless, but as a political statement.

There is much controversy over this issue of “dumpster diving” for food and the Freeganism way of life. One of the main concerns is the cleanliness of food that is dumped in a dumpster filled with germs. The second and third go together, the company is liable if someone gets hurt and the legality of salvaging food from a dumpster. In many states it is illegal.

What can we do to help? How can we stop perfectly good food from being wasted and thrown away? How can companies stop waste?

First lets look at an article from Donna L Montaldo about How much food does your family waste? In her article she states that an average family of four tosses out an average of $590 a year of food, wastes 14% of their food purchases and 15% of that waste is still within its expiration date.

1. has some real ways that we can make a difference, starting with our homes and branching out to the communities we live in and businesses that we work for.

2. Heifer International has some great ways that we can limit our waste.

Continue reading “Freeganism – How can we do our part?”

Why use Dryer Sheets? Here are 5 Alternatives

After my trip to the grocery store to buy dryer sheets and seeing how expensive they are, I decided I would figure out what alternatives are out there. I found some interesting things. My main reason for wanting an alternative is to save money, but what I found was a lot more reasons why I should find an alternative. I did not know there were so many bad chemicals in dryer sheets, such as Benzyl Acetate – Linked to pancreatic cancer, Ethanol – known to cause central nervous system disorders, Limonene – a known carcinogen and Pentane – a chemical known to be harmful if inhaled, just to name a few. For the complete list of chemicals and information on what those chemicals can do to you, check out the article “The Toxic Danger of Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets” by ezinearticles.

Here are 5 alternatives I found.

1. Dry your clothes on the line. This is great for this time of year when we have lots of sun and clothes get dried fast. As the weather changes you can try one of the options below.

2. Dryer Balls. Eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softener. As your wet laundry tumbles in the dryer, these bumpy balls lift and separate fabric to make it soft and fluffy and to allow air to flow more efficiently. Check out for price and more info.

3. Don’t dry your clothes completely. Hang your clothes to dry or dry them on a drying rack for the last 10% of drying. The small amount of moisture in the clothes helps static from getting a foothold. Check out more ideas from

4. Trader Joe’s sells lavender sachet dryer bags a natural alternative to dryer sheets. Most Health/Organic food stores sell all natural alternatives. Check out your local stores and see what they have.

5. Apple cider vinegar in your rinse water takes away static and makes your laundry extra soft. Try a 1/2 cup for big loads and 1/4 cup for small loads.

Please share any other alternatives you may have for dryer sheets or comments on the the alternatives I did list.

Stop Junk Mail and Help the Environment!

In an article at they give you seven easy steps to stopping the Junk Mail Monster. This will take time and effort on your part but none of these steps are difficult. As for most of us who care about the environment, it’s more than the annoying junk mail we have to sort through, it also is a huge waste of our natural resources. Each year 100 million trees are used to produce junk mail and 250,000 homes could be heated with one day’s supply of junk mail.[1] Those statistics amazed me.

Junk Busters is another site that has some good info on how to stop junk mail along with so many other helpful hints. There mission is to enable you to get rid of any junk mail, telemarketing calls, junk faxes, junk pages, junk email, unwanted banner ads and any other solicitations that you don’t want. This site is very easy to navigate, with simple to follow, step-by-step instructions.

One thing you have to remember is that this is an ongoing process and though you may get fewer pieces of junk mail after implementing these steps, you have to be diligent in keeping up with the little junk mail that still comes and continue to follow these steps. So lets get out there and stop the junk mail and help our environment! Do you have any helpful hints on how to keep the junk mail at bay?

[1] “Junk Mail Reduction Fact Sheet.” Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. 19 June 2008 <>.