Monday, April 21, 2008

For Earth's Sake!

Those of us who have all that we need should resolve this Earth Week to do more to cut waste and keep the planet clean for ourselves and future generations. I’m always on the lookout for uncomplicated, meaningful ways to do so—like these.

• Recycle your old electronic equipment. Every year, New Yorkers dispose of 34,000 tons of electronic waste such as TVs, computers, printers, etc. It’s legal to put it in the garbage, but recycling it keeps hazardous materials from the waste stream and the environment. Check with to find out about the next recycling event, and plan to bring your stuff.

• Deliver your dead cell phone to any cell phone provider (in New York, they must accept and recycle them) and drop off your batteries at Radio Shack (which will recycle them).

• Put your junk mail in with the recycled papers. Better yet, stop it from coming. The average person gets 41 pounds of junk mail a year, but and can help you stop it coming.

• Don’t drain energy with appliances on standby. We spend $1 billion a year to power TVs and DVD/VCRs that are turned off but still plugged in—and that doesn’t count toasters, coffeemakers, hair dryers, PCs, printers, cable boxes, and cell phone chargers. Plug adjacent equipment into a surge protector, and flip it off at night or when you leave the house.