Keep your electronics out of the trash

If you received new electronics this holiday season and are still holding onto your old products, it may be time for you to clean out your basement. By now, most people know that they shouldn't be throwing old televisions and other electronics into the trash. But, how many actually know what to do with them instead? Properly disposing electronics may be as atypical as it is because many people don't understand how important it can be.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that can be prevented by recycling 1 million desktop computers is equal to the yearly emissions from 16,000 cars. In addition, roughly 7,500 pounds of gold can be recovered from 100 million cell phones and reused in other products. If that amount of gold wasn't mined from the earth, that means 12 billion pounds of soil, sand and rock wouldn't need to be shifted, mined and processed.

Considering that they aren't exactly the most environmentally friendly products, what should you actually do with your old devices once it's time to get rid of them?

While your four-year-old Macbook may seem like an ancient artifact to you, it could save someone else a lot of money. The EPA says that schools, nonprofits and low-income families may be more than willing to take your old laptop or television off your hands. If it's not working completely, don't hesitate to offer it anyway. Some places have the ability to repair certain electronics, but make sure you are upfront about its issues if they can't fix it.

If it's beyond refurbishment or it's not a particularly useful device, recycle it. Some areas have electronic recycling drop-off centers, but stores that sell that particular device, repair it or manufacture it, will likely take it off your hands and make good use of it.

To find out where you can recycle or donate your old electronics, visit the EPA's website here.

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