Madison
58° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

Green your gadgets over the holidays

Published On: Dec 18 2013 02:52:02 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 03 2014 09:53:31 AM CST
TV remote

iStock / DeshaCAM

Take a look at the most powerful moments in TV history.

By Katie Marks, Networx

You're wrapped up snugly under your freshly redone Chicago roof, the fire is cracking, and your family members are opening their gifts with delight -- or maybe you're distributing presents to long-time employees at the company holiday party. What's under those wrappings? If it's a gadget or appliance, did you choose wisely?

As more and more people turn to gadget and appliance giving during the holiday season, it's more important than ever to make sure you're buying smart, not just for your wallet, but for the environment. The National Resources Defense Council has issued a reminder and a plea to members of the public to buy green this holiday season, and they even have a buying guide for your convenience!

It's easy to make smart purchasing decisions, and your recipients will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Not only will it demonstrate your commitment to the environment, it will also save them money on energy costs in the long term. The NRDC has outlined three easy steps in their buying guide to help you make the right choices this year.

1. Go energy-efficient. Energy Star is an obvious certification program, but there are others. Make sure that you read up on the standards used to certify appliances so you understand what kind of energy savings is provided.

2. Use the right settings. Buying energy-efficient helps, but the right settings matter too, because you can still waste a lot of energy by using a device wrong. That means reading owner's manuals (and encouraging recipients to do the same) and learning about all of the available options, including sleep, hibernate, and off modes.

Consider hooking your lucky recipient up with presents like the Kill-a-Watt Meter, which monitors energy consumption, along with smart power strips, LEDs, rechargeable batteries, and similar tools. Remember that you're not just giving a device, you're also giving someone a long-term energy commitment! Help make it easier on them with tools to save power.

3. Make sure to recycle old units with care. Thanks to changes in the law, fees are charged at the time of sale to cover electronics recycling costs. Old units, including appliances, electronics, and more, should be responsibly recycled at facilities which maintain transparent and accountable records. Ask questions about where components are recycled, how they're reused, and what happens to components that simply cannot be repurposed into new products.

Take care to avoid sending your electronics halfway around the world to poorly regulated e-waste recycling companies that engage in activities like underpaying workers who labor without basic health protections in open-air settings, taking apart electronics and polluting the environment with heavy metals and other potential health risks. If you run a company or head a department, consider working with a local electronics recycler to spearhead a collection day for employees to bring in their old, outdated gadgets so they can get a new lease on life.

Guess what? Your old electronics don't have to be recycled. If they're still working, consider selling or donating them to people who will be able to get more use out of them; that old iPhone might not be great for you anymore, but it could work like a charm for someone else. Keeping older models in use reduces the need for more new units, limiting the waste stream. As for your old appliances, talk to your local appliance store about the possibility for resale or an energy rebate for trading them in; some communities have programs that reward people for getting rid of old, energy-sucking home appliances.

And remember: if you're having trouble with installation, don't be afraid to call in a pro like an electrician to get the job done right and protect the warranty on your brand new appliance!

Source: http://www.networx.com/article/green-your-gadgets-for-the-holidays

Advertisement
  • Marysville Pilchuck school shooting 4

    KOMO

    2 dead in school shooting near Seattle, sources say

    A school shooting has been reported at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, about 35 miles north of Seattle.

  • Craig Spencer

    America's Ebola patients

    An American doctor who was working with Ebola patients in Guinea was been diagnosed with the disease after returning to New York. Learn more about him and America's other Ebola victims.

  • Hot peppers

    Karimala/iStock

    Notable food recalls

    A North Carolina producer of peppers and hot sauces is voluntarily recalling 6,215 pounds of fresh serrano chili peppers because some tested positive for salmonella. Here are other notable food recalls that made headlines.

  • jack-o-lantern Halloween pumpkin

    Juliet James/SXC

    Halloween

    Games, recipes, trick-or-treating, scary movies and everything else you need to make your Halloween extra spooky.

  • Politician, politics, debate, election

    iStock / bns124

    Election Coverage

    Get up-to-date on political stories, Reality Check the latest political ads, learn about the candidates and find election results in our special section.

  • Ebola virus pink

    CDC

    Ebola special coverage

    Get the latest news on the Ebola outbreak and resources to help you learn more about the deadly virus.

Advertisement