It happened. The year 2011 rolled into December. If you braved through the Black Friday weekend and Cyber madness then you may have already finished your Christmas shopping. For those of us who didn't, and who still have items on the "list" for Santa, we may want to take a moment to adjust our thinking which may help save our planet.
According to the Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA) 18th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study report, this year's holiday spending will increase with over one-third of purchases spent on electronics. It is good for the economy to see the increase in spending, and electronics have always been high on the list.
The propensity in human nature is to take the easy road, and let's admit it, cell phones, laptops, wireless printers, copiers, GPS units, garage openers and toys which interact with our children seem to make our lives easier. Bottom line, electronics are used to improve your efficiency in everyday living.
However, old and broken electronics end up in landfills and landfill usage is a monumental environmental concern. Perhaps if all of us over the next month would stop a moment before purchasing a new electronic device and ask ourselves a couple of questions, we may help decrease our own carbon footprint:
Can this be recycled and where? If it is a brand new and improved gadget or prototype, can we wait until the bugs have been worked out? (Do we hear a 'Bah Humbug?)
According to the cleanair.org waste facts website, "304 million electronics were disposed of from US Households in 2005 and two-thirds of them still worked." The website also mentioned that if we all recycled cell phones for one year, we would save enough energy to power 18,500 homes for a year.
There are many places in Kansas City that assist with recycling and some communities even have "drives" which are set up throughout the year. On recyclespot.org you can find a list of service providers near you.
Source: Green Building Elements website : Cleanair.org