Recycling Appliances & Electronics

Consumers recycle their electronics and appliances for a number of reasons, ranging from wanting to upgrade their devices to desiring more energy-efficient items. Smart choices when recycling electronics can save the ground and water from contamination. As e-waste grows, the recycling and donating of these common home and personal items offers a practical solution to a modern and potentially dangerous problem. Going green with future electronics and appliance choices can help reduce environmental impact while also lowering energy bills. With a few great recycling strategies in hand, consumers can make conscientious decisions to help protect the environment now and in the future.

The Problem With E-Waste

Modern technological conveniences often make our lives easier, but improper disposal of these devices can negatively impact the environment. Developing countries are especially susceptible to the environmental ravages of old electronics, as a large percentage of the developed world’s e-waste is exported to these countries. Since regulation can be less stringent in developing countries, environmental laws protecting the earth and the region’s inhabitants can be rare. While ridding your house of unwanted or old electronics could be considered home improvement, the environmental costs of irresponsible disposal can negate any freed-up space.

  • As E-Waste Piles Up, Disposal Issues Grow
  • Replacing Old Smartphones With Newer Models Creates Environmental Problems
  • E-Waste in Developing Countries Endangers Environment, Locals
  • India’s Electronic Waste Problem
  • Children’s Environmental Health: Electronic Waste
  • Bringing Harmony to Electronic Waste Disposal

Going Green & Recycling Your Electronics

One of the benefits of recycling electronics is that the act can allow for a remodeling of your environmental consciousness. When purchasing new electronics, you’ll have the ability to choose Energy Star-rated products or other resource-economical items. Reading energy labels on electronics before you purchase them can give you the opportunity to select products that use a reasonable amount of electricity. Recycling your electronics can reduce construction processes and ensure that your electronics’ new owners can enjoy your items without the need for brand-new materials or the manufacturing wastes they might cause.

  • Greener Gadgets
  • Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics
  • Guide to Recycling (PDF)
  • Electronic Waste (E-Waste)
  • Recycling Your Electronic Waste
  • Electronics Recycling Laws and Guidelines
  • Demanufacturing and Shredding During the E-Cycling Process

Specific Appliances

In recycling terms, appliances that are designated for recycling are often referred to as “white goods.” Certain brands of electronics may also have specific recycling guidelines or programs associated with them. Components of electronics, such as printer cartridges, often come with recycling instructions contained within their retail packaging. Generally, it can be a good idea to check with the manufacturer of specific appliances or electronics for guidance on how to recycle items. Local recycling centers or city websites may offer further suggestions if manufacturers don’t run in-house recycling programs. For particularly large or heavy items, consider hiring a private curbside recycling service to take electronics or appliances on your behalf.

  • Advice About Recycling Appliances
  • Recycling TVs
  • Call2Recycle: Rechargeable Battery and Cellphone Drop-off Locations
  • Safe Disposal of Refrigerated Household Appliances: Frequently Asked Questions
  • What Do I Do With Appliances?
  • Printer Ink Cartridge Recycling Information

Donation

 

Giving appliances and electronics to charities is a great way to relieve yourself of your old gadgets in a truly positive manner. Aside from giving a person in need the opportunity to use the appliance and helping to conserve the environment, your donation may also be tax-deductible. Donating large items like appliances can also offer you the opportunity to engage in a bit of home improvement or remodeling and invest in electronics or appliances that are more energy-efficient and environmentally sound. Matching yourself with an appropriate charity to donate to can be easy. Start by determining which charities local to you accept appliance donations, and then choose the charity that speaks to your personal philosophies, philanthropic causes, or interests.

  • Donate Goods to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore
  • Salvation Army Appliance Donation Value Guide
  • Guide to Donating to Goodwill
  • E-Access
  • Donate Computers to the United Way

Before You Recycle or Donate

Once you decide to recycle or donate your electronics and appliances, certain steps should be taken to reduce your liability and protect yourself from unnecessary problems. To guard your privacy, data on electronics like computers and cell phones needs to be deleted. Reformatting electronics so that they are returned to their factory state can ensure that devices are wiped clean of all personal information. It can also be a good idea to remove the batteries of any electronics that you want to recycle. Batteries can contain dangerous acids that need to be handled carefully and recycled in special centers. Similarly, major appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners need to have the Freon removed before they are donated, recycled, or disposed of. Local municipalities, scrap yards, or even a contractor from an appliance repair store may be able to help you to rid your appliance of this potentially troublesome chemical.

  • E-Cycling Central: Find a Recycler
  • EPA Refrigerant Recycling Rules (PDF)
  • Appliance Recycling Guide (PDF)
  • How to Properly Dispose of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Equipment (PDF)
  • CFC Appliance Recycling and Recovery Practices (PDF)
  • Preparing Your PC for Reuse or Recycling: Protect Your Private Information (PDF)
  • How to Donate Your Computer to Charity
  • Safely Dispose of Computers and Other Devices

Family Water Saving Ideas At Home & Away From Home

In our modern, world we have seen many of our natural resources used and sometimes abused. Resources such as air, trees and water have been taken for granted by everyone. For centuries, people have been using these resources without giving thought to whether this is hurting the environment. Over the past few years, we have come to understand that abusing our natural resources can have a negative impact on the environment.

Because of the need to be alert to the environment and the natural resources, people need to help by saving these resources whenever possible. One of the best ways to save resources is by all family members helping out. These include saving water, both at home and while away from home.

To help families learn about conserving water, we have put together the following information. We hope this helps your family save water and help the environment.

The Latest Kitchen Floor Trends You Must Know

The style of your kitchen floors can make or break the overall appearance of this most central room in your home. There are many components to consider as you contemplate replacing your old floors. Material, color, style and maintenance requirements should all be factored in during the decision making process.

There isn’t a right or wrong type of kitchen floor, but there are styles and trends that tend to be more popular, and for good reason. See the latest recommendations in kitchen flooring, so that when it comes time to replace your floors, you’re educated and confident enough to choose floors that are up-to-date and tasteful.

Black Leather Tile

Black leather tile is a newer trend that’s unique, but also very sleek. While these floors are nice looking, you should know that it takes more effort to care for them. The care instructions include mopping the floors with distilled water and vacuuming them with a soft bristle brush monthly. It’s also very important you clean up spills quickly, as to avoid stains and costly repairs.

Black floors are a respectable choice for the kitchen because it’s a color that’s easy to decorate around and hides dark dirt and stains. Black leather tile portrays a luxurious, high-end look, but don’t let that fool you. The floors are also comfortable to walk on.

Wood-Look Ceramic Tile & Laminate

If you’re looking for a durable and low-maintenance floor, then you might like this option. I’m talking about a ceramic tile in disguise. Ceramic and porcelain tile are being transformed to look like wood. If you’re worried about how well it’ll mimic wood in your kitchen, don’t be. The rich colors and detailed grains make it look very real.

Laminate is another popular direction to take if you’re going for a hardwood look without the cost. Amber Shay, VP of Design for Standard Pacific Homes’ (Denver) explains why it’s a common choice, “Laminate is a thin piece of wood on a core that’s made of something else. It creates structural stability, so you have less movement in the floor and it’s less expensive than solid hardwood.” They won’t be hard to find, flooring stores everywhere are equipped with ceramic and porcelain tile selections for just about any style home.

Wide-Plank Hardwood

Installing hardwood floors in the kitchen continues to be a favorable trend amongst homeowners. The updates in wood flooring include wider-planks, darker stains and a growing interest in gray tones. Technically speaking, “wide-plank” means installing boards that are wider than three inches, give or take about 1/4-inch.

Not only are the planks getting larger, but some designers are encouraging the use of multiple-sized planks. You might also start to see hardwood floors moving toward more exotic species, for example, hickory, cherry and walnut. There aren’t necessarily any earthshattering benefits to incorporating wide-plank floors in your home, but they’re aesthetically appealing and perfect for homeowners looking for a diverse style.

See our flooring cost guide for more information on various flooring types, materials and pricing.

Bamboo

Bamboo, it’s renewable, it’s beautiful and it’s Earth-friendly, pretty much music to the ears. It’s been said some early versions of the material were known to have shrinkage issues, but it’s gotten better over the years and hasn’t recently been a problem. Bamboo is great for homeowners who want to create a kitchen that’s cutting-edge and can appreciate a floor with style and durability.

You may not know, but bamboo is actually harder than many types of woods. It’s a comfortable and eco-chic surface that stands up well to water and foot traffic. Bamboo is produced in an array of colors and plank widths. If you’re considering this type of flooring for your kitchen, then I suggest educating yourself on the advantages, disadvantages, types and costs before moving forward.

Style & Flair

Long gone are the days of matchy-matchy and plain Jane style homes. Kitchen designs are changing and expanding all of the time, and this year’s no different. There are many ways you can add flair and sophistication to your kitchen, but below are some of the more striking possibilities.

  • Saltillo Tiles: These flooring tiles are used to create a Mediterranean-style kitchen. To accomplish this look, you’re encouraged to incorporate lively colors, rustic hardware and (of course) Saltillo tile flooring. This particular tile brings a warm, inviting look to the kitchen.
  • Terra-Cotta Tile: Select this tile if you’re going for an Old World Charm-style kitchen. It’s a beautiful and classic material that’ll add warmth and geometric interest to the room.
  • Natural Stone: This material is an expensive and high-end flooring option, but it’s absolutely stunning. Natural stone (including marble or travertine) is timeless, durable and easy to clean. Experts suggest using larger pieces which give you a seamless, impressive look and less grout to clean.