Posts Tagged ‘ Earth Day ’

How to eCycle Unwanted Mobile Phones, Computers, and Televisions

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Earth Day is a great annual reminder to reduce, reuse, and recycle, but our commitment to being green should mean being eco-friendly each and every day.  We recycle plastic bottles, aluminum cans, newspapers, but what do you do with your digital devices when you’re done with them?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only 18% of the 2.25 million tons of TVs, cell phones, and computer products were collected for recycling. 82% were disposed of in landfills. Rather than throwing away devices, e-cycle them.

Did you know that for every million cell phones recycled, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered? Often times mobile phones are in good working order when a user decides to upgrade to a new one.

Giving your phone to your child is a great way to recycle it in an earth-friendly way depending on their age but if you’re looking to get some money back, AT&T allows customers to trade in old wireless phones and tablets. For every qualifying device returned through AT&T’s Trade In Program, customers receive an AT&T Promotion Card whose value can offset the price of a new device.

Before you eCycle your mobile phone, here are some tips to remember:

  • Turn it off
  • Remove your phone’s SIM card
  • Erase your address book, photos, messages, and other stored information to safeguard personal information

According to the EPA, recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in a year. Laptops tend to have a five year lifespan before they become unbearably slow.

Computers that are in good working order are often sought after by charities who can’t afford to spend money on a new one. Even if your machine seems slow, chances are a local school or organization would be happy to take it off your hands and might be able to give you a donation receipt for next year’s taxes. If you’re looking to recoup some money, local CraigsList is a great way to pass along computers especially since there are often individuals looking for certain makes and models that can no longer be purchased.

If your computer doesn’t work, don’t throw it away! Here are some ideas about what you can do with it after you erase the hard drive and ensure that no personal information is left on it:

  • Sell it on eBay. Believe it or not, there’s a market for old computers on eBay thanks to tech savvy individuals who are in search of parts.
  • Take it apart. How often do kids get to see the inner workings of a computer? Check out a book from the library or do some online research to learn about the parts inside of a computer and how it works.

If you’re getting rid of an old television, says it probably contains a high amount of lead, making it unsafe for landfills. Check with your city or town to ask about the best way to dispose of it or check the Best Buy website to determine if it can be recycled in store.

Cleaning of old computer equipment for recycling via Shutterstock

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Apps, Websites, and Programming to Teach All Ages About the Environment

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

While we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, there’s never a bad time to start teaching kids about the environment. Young conservations can learn to care for the planet through interactive apps, educational programming on television and DVDs, and age appropriate websites. This guide featuring age appropriate suggestions for toddlers through teens is designed to provide engaging activities for everyon as they learn more about taking care of our planet.

Toddlers and Preschoolers

  • Curious George Swings into Spring— From spring fever to spring cleaning, from a canoe ride to a hot air balloon journey, George and his friends get viewers ready to explore the outdoors this Earth Day in a one hour special airing on PBS stations on Monday, April 22. Curious George lovers who want to learn on the go will be interested in knowing that a new online game focusing on natural science concepts such as plant growth and butterfly metamorphosis will launch later this month.
  • The Lorax— This interactive storybook app for iOS devices aims to create confident young readers thanks to three different ways that kids can interact with the well known Dr. Seuss classic. Children can choose to have the app auto play the story of The Lorax, have it read to them, or read it themselves as they work to build their reading skills. Words can be highlighted as they are read to help build sight word recognition in young children and kids can interact with the text and pictures with a tap.
  • Sid the Science Kid— Through games, video, and printables, toddlers and preschoolers are exposed to a single scientific concept in a fun way. One of the themes is backyard science that encourages curious children to explore the homes of animals such as ants, birds, and squirrels that live outside their door since they serve as the building blocks for entomology, geology, and botany. PBS aligns available web content in order to allow them to learn more in parallel with available television programming.

Early Elementary Ages

  • He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands —This DVD begins with a rendition of the American spiritual, “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands” and features a guide for parents and kids with tips on how to be green. Positive messages about diversity and beauty of the world are conveyed through stories like Jane Yolen’s “Owl Moon” that is about a magical, night-time walk through the snowy woods in search of the Great Horned Owl, “Come On, Rain!” an ode to a good, soaking, and the appreciative Thanksgiving address, “Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message.” With environmental issues top of mind, this DVD is perfect for a new generation of eco-conscious kids ages 5 and up.
  • Ranger Rick Jr. Appventures: Lions — This story app lets young ones Explore, Create, and Play their way through incredible animal adventures as kids join Ricky Raccoon and his friend, Lars the Lion, on a trip to the African grasslands. Kids discover how lions spend their days, raise their young, and much more through interactive photo stories, engaging games and creative play activities centered around a specific animal.
  • Wild Kratts— Brothers Chris and Martin Kratt combine science education with adventure as they teach kids about amazing wild animals through their adventures that feature live action and animation. Early elementary ages are exposed to scientific concepts that are relevant to the animals explored in the 30 minute episode.


  • Ranger Rick’s Treehouse — This virtual tree house is packed with clickable animal stories, comic adventures, multi-level games, videos, nature activities and wildlife mysteries  around every corner. Children have the incentive to learn by earning badges when the show what they’ve learned!
  • National Wildlife Foundation Activity Finder— If you’re tired of hearing the words “I’m bored” from your tween, put them in charge of their learning by having them research nearby activities that will be fun for the family. From geocaching, hikes, and so much more, the Activity Finder suggests a plethora of activities that help families connect with nature.
  • DisneyNature Chimpanzee— Families will enjoy sitting down to meet Oscar, a three year old chimpanzee who is orphaned and raised by another chimp through a visually stunning nature documentary filmed in Africa. Children get an inside look at the life of chimpanzees, relationship between those within the community, and their struggle for survival.

Boy embracing globe of world via Shutterstock

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