Tag Archives: environment

Get Green, Save & Reduce E-Waste

Earth Day is April 22nd and BestBuy has a tie-in promotion that might save you some money.

You can get a rebate on certain consumer electronics if you bring in a corresponding old gadget (in working order). Get money off on a Blu-Ray player when you bring in a DVD or VHS player. The savings are not stellar but it might cover the taxes.

I took advantage of the Earth Day promotion and bought a Canon A1000IS to replace my beloved intermittent failure Canon A550 Powershot.

Not much has changed between my old A550 and the new A1000IS, think evolution not revolution.

With just a weekend's use there are some features that I already like.

  • Smaller form factor
  • larger LCD on the back
  • Eye candy like cross dissolves between photos in preview mode.
  • A face detect feature that will follow your subjects face.
  • Tells you what megapixel the photos sizes are in the menu.

It will take me some time getting used to the buttons as they are flush with the camera body as opposed to being raised as the A550. And it's just so small.

Over all this promotion is a good incentive to get people more responsible with their e-waste all be it with a carrot. BestBuy and FutureShop have been recycling old and broken consumer electronics for years. If they only promoted this year round and not just around Earth Day to cash in on going green.  

The cynic in my can't help but think that this may contribute to e-waste as people will cycle out their products before end of life. When these products die or are replaced will people recycle them properly? 

If you want to recycle your gadgets check out the Consumer Electronics Association's site My Green Electronics for a list of recyclers near you and Earth Day tips how to be green all year long.

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A Bright Idea: Recycling CFLs

I don't know about you, but I use Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) in the house as much as I can.

They use less power and last longer than your old fashioned incandescent bulbs of yore and that's good for the environment.

These are great points but I have a few issues. Some models don't have the instant on of an incandescent bulb and have a cold colour temperature so they can look a little industrial. But these are not deal breakers for me.

What I have a problem with is the small amount of mercury in each lamp. I'm not scarred having them in the house but how to dispose of them. Millions of CFLs purchased now could leach mercury into a landfill and subsequently the ecosystem later.

So I'm glad that Home Depot (both in Canada and the United States) offers CFL recycling. No local Home Depots? In the USA you can check for local recycling of CFLs on earth911.com. And worldwide I'm sure a google search will turn up some local drop off points.

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Green Ikea

During the bi-annual family trip to everyone's favorite Swedish furniture and nicknack's store, I got the feeling that IKEA is really pushing the green. Green as in the environment.

The first indicator of IKEA's environmental leaning was out in the parking lot. Believe it or not it was reserved parking spaces for hybrid vehicles, unfortunately when we arrived the spots were vacant. Hybrids are cool.

The second (which we can all afford, unlike the hybrid), were signs asking customers to turn off their vehicles in the loading area. Or as I like to call it, hope to god that new piece of furniture will fit once it's removed from the packaging and you fill every spare crevice in your car from the glove compartment to passenger's laps area. This is a great idea (and one you can practice everywhere not just IKEA) since according to daily fuel economy tip you waste 17.5% of your car's fuel while idling.

I've always noticed IKEA's recycling bins dispersed throughout the store but now they also have a large one by the loading area so once you (hopefully) get your stuff into the car, all that packaging doesn't end up in a landfill.

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IKEA has also started charging 5¢ for plastic bags. You can also buy their reusable IKEA branded bags at check out as well (like many other stores have started to do). Charging for bags has created a humorous side effect, a stream of people walking to their cars holding their purchases precariously perched in their arms. I guess they really didn't need that bag after all.

MSNBC has an interview with IKEA's head of social and environmental responsibility and talks about green stores, renewable energy and suppliers that don't agree with IKEA's green plan. And finally both IKEA's site and treehugger.com talk about their social & environmental responsibility.

But even with IKEA's environmentalism when asked what my postal code was I responded with what''s you postal code. To which the cashier quickly tapped out a series of zero's and rang up my total.

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