Earth Day was on April 22nd this year. For many individuals, it may involve doing earth friendly activities outdoors. For others, it could be a day of acknowledgement for the earth friendly things they may do all year. From recycling to composting, earth friendly activities are become apart of our daily lives. This is even being seen in technology. From earth friendly packaging to the popularity and economical choice of purchasing refurbished. Today, we will look over a couple of tips on how to celebrate Earth Day 365 days a year.
1. Refurbish and Recycle
Purchasing refurbished products is one of my favorite ways to be earth friendly year round. It’s like a little secret only us super savers seem to know about. It’s ridiculous that many people dismissed refurbished product as their purchase option. When purchased from a reputable source (for example, your Mac directly from Apple’s refurbished program), you can be sure that it is in a good working condition, comes with warranty, and at a much lower price than a brand new product.
The second way to be an earth friendly techie is to recycle your old devices. You’d be surprised how many devices you have in your home that you have no use for. This spring, when I started spring-cleaning the house, I was able to recycle an old Blackberry and Microsoft Zune I found in my gadget drawer. In some instances, recycling devices can even be a bit lucrative. Many websites allows you to trade your devices in for some cash. Websites like Best Buy and Gazelle specialize in trading used devices. Help save the planet and make some money, isn’t that cool?
2. Observe a Time Off
One thing that many individuals forget about is that excessive use of electricity can heavily affect the planet in the long run. Excessive use of electricity adds to your environmental footprint. Electricity is generated using various fossil fuels, fuels that take years to develop and aren’t as renewable. In a nutshell, limiting your current use will help reduce your footprint and help make the environment a bit better.
It is very easy and rewarding to limit your electrical use. I personally give myself a plug off day, from Friday evening until Saturday evening, I cut off from work I have to do online and shut the computer down for 24 hours. This can be difficult for many individuals, and those who find it difficult can take just an hour or two out of their day to cut the plug. When you do so, you can use the time to go out for a run, take care of some errands, and more.
3. Use Earth-Friendly Apps
In case you are running out of means to be earth-friendly, Apple has a ton of applications available out there that will make being earth friendly year-round a bit easier.
For most individuals, recycling isn’t necessarily a difficult process. They are just lazy at finding out where the nearest recycle center is. iRecycle allows you to know where to throw away everything from paint to hazardous materials and everyday items like glass and plastics. This allows you to make recycling an everyday part of your earth friendly routine.
This application is one that helps out while at the grocery store. GoodGuide is your guide to finding not only healthy foods, but also those that are environmentally friendly and humane. GoodGuide allows you to find foods that are friendly to animals and even foods that are more energy efficient. You can find out this based on a score given to each product, based on their averaged out score from health, environment, and societal factors. You can set your own score, and if they meet your expectations, they get a green “pass” check. If not, then they fail and you should at least rethink purchasing it. If an item does in fact fail, GoodGuide gives you better alternatives.
4. Make Things More Digital
We each use about 700 pounds of paper each year. While we aren’t carrying this with us everywhere we go, we encounter it through our mail, notes to ourselves, cards we purchase and send, and much more. A majority of the paper that gets in out contact is essentially wasted, thrown away and never recycled.
If recycling seems a bit too difficult for you, you can still save the earth by reducing your use of paper. You can reduce your paper consumption by sending e-cards or even cards made from recycled paper. This last holiday season, I sent some environmentally friendly holiday cards. While they cost a couple of cents more than regular paper cards, they were well worth it. This is a perfect option if e-cards are too impersonal in your opinion. Even the cards made from Apple with the Cards app is environmentally friendly, making use of more durable cotton paper than that from wood.
We all know that we don’t send cards every day. For that reason, there are things in our daily life that we should implement to make a larger difference. Do you get the New York Times sent to your home each morning? No need to cancel the newspaper, the New York Times subscription is heavily intertwined with the iOS application, allowing you to still keep up with the same news as the newspaper but in digital form. The costs are less as well.
5. Purchase Earth Friendly Gadgets
Yes, you recycled your devices, even purchased refurbished, but you still aren’t sure if that’s enough. No worries, you can even go a step further by purchasing earth friendly gadgets. No, we don’t mean gadgets that run on water or by sunlight. There are various gadgets and companies out there that are earth conscious by using environmentally friendly packaging or materials.
For Apple, their gadgets are smaller for a reason. Yes, thinner equals more modern, however the thin iPads and Macbook Airs also use less aluminum and other materials. Gadgets require less transportation because Apple makes them with a majority of Apple products. They are sent to Apple stores or approved retailers, not random tech stores on the edges of the earth. Apple runs its own recycling program, and all devices you use are Energy Star approved, everything from iPods to Macs.
Making Earth Day a regular part of your year is seamless, however making it apart of your daily life is where the real benefits can be found. It is important to make sure to be environmentally conscious all year-round. As you can see from today, you don’t have to be a tree hugger to do this. From iPhone applications to purchasing energy efficient gadgets, being environmentally conscious can be hip and easy. What are some ways that you are being earth conscious inside and outside of technology? Let us know in the comments below!
Image credit: Baby And Earth by BigStockPhoto
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