Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good Sam Club - Going Green Article

Going Green Is Easy With the Good Sam Club
Everyone is talking about going green like it’s the hottest new trend. Yet the Good Sam Club, providing services to RVers for more than 40 years, has long been offering benefits that encourage members to preserve the environment.

Join the Good Sam Club today and join other RVers who are dedicated to becoming better global citizens.
Along with money-saving benefits like 10% discounts on camping, Good Sam Club members make a difference in the environment. Here’s how you can do your part:
Pick up Litter.
Good Sam Club offers members many opportunities to volunteer and contribute to your community and environment. One of the Club's largest cleanup efforts is the Good Sam National Cleanup Day. For the past 12 years, Club members across the country join in a shared effort to improve the appearance of our public lands before the summer travel season begins.

Interested in participating in this year’s cleanup effort that clears our highways, parks, beaches and mountains? Become a Good Sam Club member today!
Think Global, Act Local. With more than 2,000 local Good Sam Chapters, many of them have implemented Adopt-a-Highway and Adopt-a-Park Programs. Chapters have adopted more than 600 miles of byways and 126 federal, state and municipal parks across the United States and Canada.

When you join the Good Sam Club, you have the chance to join a dedicated group of RVers who make a positive impact on your local community.
Plan Your Trips. Plan your trip and avoid getting lost, which wastes fuel. Tools like the Good Sam Club's online trip routing can help you prepare. This service is simple to use. Type in your origination and destination, and you’ll get RV-specific routing that includes bridge and tunnel restrictions and state towing laws. You can also get road advisories, an estimate on fuel costs and map out locations that offer Good Sam member discounts.

Good Sam Club benefits like these are good for the environment; Plus, they save you time and money.
Drive Smarter. How? Keep your RV and towed vehicle well tuned, the tires inflated properly; avoid overloading your RV; use the cruise control as often as possible; and drive smoothly. Driving smarter means less fuel consumption.
Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle. Before throwing anything out, consider whether it can be reused, repaired or recycled. And before you make a new purchase, consider purchasing something used – that includes RV parts.

Good Sam members get the members-only monthly magazine – Highways – packed with RV maintenance and technical tips to keep your RV running smoothly. Plus, you’ll get the Good Sam e-newsletter, CyberSam, which delivers helpful tips directly to your in-box.

The Good Sam Club offers many resources

to help members save the planet – while saving money.

Join today and start saving money with member benefits like these:

  1. 10% Discount at the network of more than 1,700 Good Sam Parks

  2. Free subscription to Highways magazine, the official publication of the Good Sam Club

  3. RV Emergency Road Service Enrollment Discount

  4. Members-Only Rates on RV and Auto Insurance

  5. Discounts on Trailer Life Directory and RV related books & publications

  6. Good Sam Continued Service Plan (CSP) can save you thousands on RV repairs

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Harnessing the Sun for Your Home – Key Components

Using the power of the sun is becoming increasingly attractive from an economic and environmental aspect. If you’re going solar, you need to know the components.

Solar Components

While generally considered electric platforms, solar systems definitely have unique components. Here’s some of the jargon you are going to need to be familiar with before buying.

1. Photovoltaic Cell – This is the key piece of any solar platform. Known as a PV cell, it is typically a small cell containing a silicon substance under glass. When the sun hits the cell, the silicon undergoes an electrical reaction that creates a charge. The charge is collected by small wires. Depending on the nature of the cell, each should produce roughly half a volt.

2. Solar Panel – A collection of solar cells joined as a unit in a frame. A single panel typically is insufficient to produce enough energy to power anything of significance in your home.

3. Solar System – Also known as a photovoltaic system, a solar system is an interconnected set of solar panels. This is what you see on the roofs of home or other areas around homes and buildings. A solar system converts enough sunlight into electricity to provide most or all of the power required by a home.

4. Orientation – Before installing a panel system, one has to give some thought regarding where to put it. The sun tracks across a structure in a particular way. To maximize the energy production, the panels have to be oriented to receive the maximum amount of sunlight. This, of course, results in the maximum amount of electricity.

5. Direct Current – A type of electricity that flows in only one direction. Solar cells produce direct current electricity.

6. Alternating Current – Electricity that flows in both directions. AC power is used by utilities and in practically all appliances and machines in a home.

7. Inverter – A key component in a solar panel system. The inverter converts the direct current produced by the solar panels into AC power that can be used in the home or fed back into a utility power grid system.

Obviously, there are a wide variety of systems for converting sunlight into power. Making yourself familiar with the above components is a good place to start.

Article Source: http://www.ArticlesandAuthors.com - THE Premier Site for Articles AND Authors

About this Article Author:

Rick Chapo is with SolarCompanies.com – a directory of solar energy companies. Visit us to read more articles about home solar power and facts about solar energy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Curb Pollution by Recycling your Car

The coolest mantra for this century is recycling. Almost every other thing is recycled these days. Recycling is an effective way to preserve the natural sources that have been used by us. Recycling can help in curbing the pollution that is causing a lot of upheaval in the living of the entire living organisms. Auto recycling is one such activity that helps in keeping the earth and atmosphere free from harmful chemicals. An California Auto Salvage company is the one which recycles the parts of the car which has the retainable quality and disposes the un-retainable parts in the safe way.

California is one of the populated cities of America. It is a city that has got plenty of such junk cars that are worn out and spoiling day by day the surroundings of the place. There are plenty of poisonous gasses that are emitted out of various spare parts of the car. Disposing these in the improper ways can cause a lot of damage therefore, it is essential that it is disposed by an California Auto-Salvage company.

An auto salvage company disposes off the battery fluid, brake fluid and so on in a way which is environment friendly. One of the good parts of these auto recycling company is that they tow your vehicle without charging a single penny and thus you can easily get rid of your useless vehicle which is soaring your eyes and can also help in making this earth a better place to live.


About the Author: I am an occupational content writer as wrting is my hobby and i enjoy wrting on various topics.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Running Your Car On Water - Environmentally Effective?

Some people talk about environmental factors associated with being able to run cars on water. In fact, hydrogen cars are listed as being totally emission free. This is because the only emission they release is water vapor.

HHO gas is used to completely replace the fuel or to replace part of the fuel within a vehicle. HHO gas is created when water undergoes a particular type of chemical change and that occurs at the time when electricity is added.

The first thing to consider is how much does your car, with its current gasoline-based engine, emit into the atmosphere? It depends on your vehicle, but tons of green house gases which poisons humans and destroys the environment by increasing global warming, are constantly released into the atmosphere.

By adding a hydrogen generator to your current vehicle, you can cut gas usage by 50-100%. This means that you can add half a tank to a full tank of gas for each fill up!

It does not take long to install a conversion kit (or even make one yourself) if you want to try out the benefits for yourself, and you can easily remove it if it does not meet your expectations when assisting you in providing a cleaner environment. Some people ask why they should bother considering the huge amounts of money spent and how can one single vehicle make a difference?

This may be true. One single vehicle might not make a huge impact, but it can and if you notice the difference and tell a few people, they will try it and tell a few more people, creating an enormous chain effect. Many people believe that one person alone cannot make a difference to help the environment.

But one person can definitely open the way for others to follow and replicate the same practices to save energy and preserve our environment. In the meantime, you get to enjoy saving lots of money and greatly increase your gas mileage without using hardly any gas.

Options for running a car on water are becoming more and more popular, not just because of environmental factors but also for the cost saving elements that are bringing countless people onto the idea of using HHO gas and hydrogen generators in their cars. They are easy to install, they are inexpensive when compared to the savings that can be had from them, and they use a renewable source that can be found anywhere for free.

When taking this into consideration and then adding to it the environmental factors, it is little wonder why the running a car on water idea is becoming very popular. There are many people who may pass up this opportunity, even if they want to do something for the environment because they do not believe that they can make a difference. Even one individuals single impact is well worth it when it comes to preserving our environment.

About the Author
Alan Largo is the creator and administrator of Half-Water Half-Gas and strives to assist others identify with their adverse gasoline situation through informative reviews. You're invited to visit Half-Water Half-Gas to read his most recent article review.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Recycle Pocket Watches

Too Many Office Given Engraved Pocket Watches? Recycle Them!

By: Bradlley Mckoy

Often, the heads of committees for corporate giveaways and gifts for employees run out of steam. Put yourself in their shoes and you will find that mass gift giving on a yearly basis can be a mind numbing experience, not to mention a daunting task considering that you have to find a gift that fits everybody, fits into the budget and fits in the pockets. So, they settle for mundane and recurring items like engraved pocket watches! Do you hear dismayed groans? Or is it just you?

But never worry. You can recycle these accumulated engraved pocket watches without a trace of guilt and without leaving a trace on your wallets.

Sell Them on eBay

Or any other selling sites you prefer. Do not think for a moment that nobody will take interest in these items, not when they are so common, so crass, and so cranky. Somebody, somewhere in the Internet universe will have use for them in ways you will tell yourself you should have thought about first. Who said regrets come before the action anyway?

But if you remain ignorant of these uses, then you will be selling these engraved pocket watches without a trace of remorse and with money on your wallet, to boot.

Sell Them in a Yard Garage Sale

Garage sales are curious things. You sell stuff you do not use and others buy your stuff they will have no use for either. Then again, many a valuable artwork has been discovered in the trash and in yard sales, which is not to say your corporate embossed pocket watches will be the next Patek Philippe that sold for $11 million dollars at Sotheby s in December 1999. You wish.

Give Them to Friends and Family

Your friends and family might have use for these watches, again in ways you never dreamed possible. Not to mention, absolutely ridiculous and borderline insane but do not let them hear you say that.

For example, take your relative who never goes out without his assortment of watches. He has one on his wrist, one on his cellphone, one in his suit pocket and one in his head. He will definitely appreciate your gifts of engraved pocket watches, never mind the corporate logo.

You might even have a friend who lives by the clock. Her life is ruled by a pre arranged schedule, deviations of which can send her into a frenzy. You can give her the atomic pocket watches so that she knows she is perfectly in sync with the rest of the universe s ticking clock.

Use Them as Decorations

Not on your body though unless you want to be a walking advertisement for your company and an easy target of the fashion police. You can string your unused engraved pocket watches all together and make a unique conversational decoration in your living room, a kind of mobile art piece. Do any artist proud, eh?

Or you can display those in the bathroom to remind your teenage daughter of the time she spends doing her thing while others are raring to do theirs.

When all else fails, you can always use your engraved pocket watches as bomb timers to remind the committees that

  • Yes, you are tired of these watches

  • No, you are not joking

Then again, why not just throw them away, right?

Author Resource:-> You will be loath to discard watches from the http://executivegiftshoppe.com/, especially the elegant Colibri pocket watch (http://www.executivegiftshoppe.com/pocket-watch-colibri.html) and the sturdy mechanical pocket watch (http://www.executivegiftshoppe.com/pocket-watch-silver-tone-mechanical.html). For

Article From Freebie Articles

Dog Days Keychain With Watch

Dog Days Keychain With Watch

Keep track of your keys and the time with this handy accessory that has dangling dog-themed charms and a watch accented with sparkly rhinestones. 5".

Friday, October 17, 2008

Green Living: Advantages of Wind Power

True Green

Green living is gaining a lot of popularity nowadays. The term includes various activities all aimed at saving the planet and doing less environmental harm with our day to day life and activities.Part of the green living idea is using alternative methods for producing power such as using wind or solar power instead of traditional power plants. Advantages of wind power are numerous and we will mention some of the main ones in the following lines.The most obvious advantage is that wind power is totally free. Of course you should invest in building a power generator but still this is a minor investment compared to the bulky utility bills your household is getting every month. Moreover maintenance costs are pretty low – both time and money required for windmill upkeep.

Wind power generators are environmentally safe way to producing energy. They don’t pollute the air or water and they don’t need any kind of fuel to run. Moreover windmills don’t require large space top be built. In that sense they are convenient for garden of any size as well as very suitable for farming areas.Another huge advantage of wind power is that it is available in areas where central electricity is not available. Remote areas such as mountains or agricultural areas can still have their own power supply without being part of the electricity power grid.

Windmills are available is any size and for that reason they can supply with sufficient power any size of household. Of course to make this happen, wind speed and wind patters have to be taken into consideration too. Since we mentioned the main advantages of wind power, it is good to say something about the disadvantages too. Windmills are noisy and that is the main consideration for many household when they consider constructing windmill in their yard. Wind power turbines can sometimes interfere with nearby TVs and that is why many household are reluctant to using wind power as an alternative power supply source. Another significant disadvantage is that wind power is very dependant on weather conditions – power is produced only when there is wind with sufficient force. On the other hand stormy weather can seriously harm windmills.

Regardless of these drawbacks it is becoming more and clearer that private individual as well as large scale businesses are looking for cheaper and safer ways of producing energy. In this sense the advantages of wind power are much more than the drawbacks and it is expected that it will gain more and more popularity in the coming years.

About the author:
Earth4Energy is a guide that explains the steps to create electricity using wind power at Home. One can easily start creating electricity from Wind Power, by taking help of the guide.Check out Earth4Energy ReviewArticle Source: http://www.free-articles-zone.com/author/23646

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Benefits of Biodegradable Plastic Bags

Polyethylene Bags
The bags that you will see commonly used, such as plastic grocery bags, are made from petroleum byproducts, which is the root of most all of the environmental problems that they are the source of. Not only do they take substantially longer to break down or degrade, but as they do they release highly toxic chemicals.

Other Plastics
Other types of plastic bags break down much faster and don't have to toxic byproduct issues that petroleum based polyethylene bags do. These bags are made from plastics that are derived from raw materials such as vegetable oils, starches and even cellulose which is made from wood pulp. Did you know that Cellophane kitchen wrap is made completely from substances derived from wood?

New Plastics Being Developed
As the science of chemistry advances, new plastics are being developed and older plastics formulas are being improved on. The result, is that newer alternatives to todays polyethylene plastic bags are being developed and tested. However; none so far has the strength and low manufacturing cost of polyethylene bags which remain the most popular.

The Search for a Solution
Another reason that polyethylene bags haven't been replaced by another type of plastic bag, is that each type of disposable material that bags can be made from presents it own environmental problems. Even going back to paper isn't a viable solution any more, due to the amount of water that is used in the paper manufacturing process. Also, there just aren't enough trees any more to supply the demand that would be created by going back to paper bags.

About the author:
Written by Tanya Faddelstein. Get all you wanted to know about Biodegradable Plastic Bags and even Biodegradable T-Shirt Bags.Article Source: http://www.free-articles-zone.com/

Is Polyethylene a Plastic ?

Is Polyethylene a Plastic ?The word “plastic does not actually refer to anay particular type of chemical or substance. Rather, it refers to any number of common substances flexible properties. The word “plastic” is derived from the Latin word “plastique”, which roughly translates into “to change” in English.Polyethylene Bags are Cheap to ManufacturePolyethylene bags have become popular, because they are cheap to manufacture and because polyethylene is made from petroleum, which up until recently was relatively inexpensive. Other plastics that other bags and wrapping products are made from are derived from substances such as vegetable oil and even wood pulp, which is more expensive.

Ecological Issues
The ecological problems that arise out of the use of polyethylene bags manifest themselves when the bags themselves are improperly disposed of. While environmentalist point up the fact that they take up to a thousand years to decompose when they are buried the real problem comes from the fact that as litter blowing in the wind, they can take a very long time to degrade.

The Search for a SolutionWhile some people claim that a return to paper bags may be a solution to the problem, paper in itself, has its ecological downsides. For instance, paper uses a lot of water and energy when being processes from wood pulp. Also, a return to paper bags would be devastating on the worlds forests, which are already under pressure from commercial interests.

About the author:
Written by Tanya Faddelstein. Find premium info on Polyethylene Bags plus the top information on Plastic Bag ManufacturerArticle Source: http://www.Free-Articles-Zone.com

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Can I Save the World?" Easy Solutions to Global Warming at our Fingertips

With so much information out there about global warming and the effects that are causing natural disasters, is there anything we as individuals can do to make a difference? Yep! You don't need to move mountains, but a small pebble can really make ripples that can create positive changes world wide. Here's a few "pebbles" you can use today!We all feel we have a purpose in life. As more of us become aware of the damaging effects of global warming, we are also concerned about practical solutions to the problem. Most importantly, how can we fit in as part of the solution, instead of the problem?

Unfortunately, many of us become overwhelmed when we watch the ever-increasing natural disasters and it starts to feel like the world is crashing around us. I remember watching the plane hit the World Trade Center over and over and over again. I remember being completely paralyzed to the television. Sleep was optional, but only in between important news breaks. I felt helpless. I wanted to understand the reasoning behind the attacks to ease my fears of possible future attacks, but I mainly wanted a sense of control back into my life.

I do not like to focus on the doom of global warming because that's not the best mindset for me to find solutions and implement actions. I truly believe we all can make a difference in our lives, in the lives of our families, friends and community. I also am a firm believer that every single action taken produces a ripple effect throughout the world. When we take a simple action such as changing a light bulb to a compact fluorescent bulb, a positive motion is set in place. Just for fun, let's see what can happen: (this will show how the action affects others) That old bulb in the living finally goes out. You go to your local hardware store and see miles of shelves of light bulbs! OY! (production of CFL bulbs)o Someone comes over to help and maybe suggest a CFL. "A what?" you ask. The assistant tells you that even though the bulb is more expensive than a basic tungsten bulb, it will last years longer, it will not burn hot, uses way less energy, thus saving you money every month AND prevents the release of more than 450 pounds of emission from a power plant normally used to light the old style bulbs into the air! (increased sales and more potential advertisement of a green product, decreased amount of carbons released into the atmosphere) You read the advertisement and glimpse the familiar EnergyStar sign. So, you think, "Why not!" (increased awareness of a great program)o You go home and your kids ask you about the funny looking bulb. (educates the kids and tell their friends how smart their parents are!) Your friends come over for dinner and recognize the bulb, but never really considered buying one until now. (increased awareness through word-of mouth [extremely powerful!!!] and more potential sales, advertisement, decreased emissions) You get the electric bill the next month and notice you really did use less electricity AND saved a little money. ($$$) You go to buy more CFL bulbs and realize the prices dropped a bit due to increased sales! (supply and demand of a product that improves our world)

That's just for changing one bulb! Just one action really can make an impact. Just because we do not always see the immediate results don't mean they aren't there!So what are the best solutions of global warming? Can we help save the world? Yep. I would first suggest do whatever feels right for you. The level of comfort will be different for everyone. To me, it can be summed up as: AWARENESS and ACTION AWARENESSMy first exposure to environmental issues came about while working at Home Depot. I watch as a person chained himself to our lumber shelves and awaited the local police. His actions, maybe a bit extreme to some, created awareness to the customers, Home Depot and the media. Many of those same actions ultimately changed the way Home Depot purchased and sold lumber.

For me, my level of comfort was turning off the lights. The more I learned, the more I did to help the environment. Learning about basic, easy-to-do home repairs really made a difference and increased my confidence as well as the confidence of my customers. Now, years later, I must say living in Thailand has taught me a lot about saving energy as well as joining together for what you believe in. I've seen Thais go to the employment office and march because wages were too low. I have witnessed the ousting of a political figure because the Thais felt betrayed. I have greater respect for Thais and for others I've met from different countries. Their views and actions have taught me so much about global warming. I also have greater appreciation for our abilities as Americans to make changes worldwide. So to further answer people's question - "What are the best solutions to global warming?" My suggestions are all easy to do, but the main factor lies with what is comfortable for you. If I am given a great idea, but is too time-intensive, I probably won't do it. But if it's as easy as hitting the enter key, now you got my attention!
Ok. We are much more aware of what's going on. We understand we have a problem. Now what!

I started with small steps. As I learned more, I found the bigger steps easier than I realized. I discussed my views with others and listened to their ideas. My friends in Alabama recently installed solar heaters and a tankless water heater. Businesses are seeing the advantages of doing the right thing and stepping up their environmental cleaning efforts People from all walks of life have created petitions requesting a more proactive government. Even the 2008 Presidential Candidates are listening. Many are now including global warming as their primary issue. Need some ideas to get your creative green juices flowing? OK! Here you go! Enjoy!o Get the family involved - make it fun and educational. Make it a project during your child's science fair. Chat with your friends - they may have some unique ideas. Add a signature tag to your emails. I have a personal account with Yahoo. Whenever I send someone an email, my signature message or quote is at the end of the page. I create the signature once and forget about it. If you see a quote you like or have a message to share with others - signature it! Find out what tax incentives or refunds are available to you, i.e. hybrid car tax incentives, toilet replacement rebates, deduct the costs of energy-saving appliances and energy renovations in your home. Support greener businesses. Our money dictates what businesses sell. Our support encourages businesses to continue doing the right thing. o Want to invest in the stock market? What companies are moving forward in clean-up? Researching new technologies? Contributing portions of their profits to support environmental organizations? Vote. What candidates are fighting for positive changes in the environment? Who seems to be making global warming a primary focus in their campaign? How does the candidate balance global warming and the economy?

Does the candidate understand the threat and what solutions does he or she offer? Join others online and become a part of something bigger. In the past, petitions involved going door-to-door or standing near the mall entrance. Thanks to the internet, a letter to Congress has never been easier - or more effective! Read the letter already prepared. If you agree with it, type your name and hit ENTER ! Submit your ideas to websites. I would love input from you! Your ideas can be just what someone else needed! Many websites would also benefit from your thoughts and appreciate the communication! Start a discussion group in your community. Barnes and Noble or Borders are excellent meetings spots. It's a great way to meet others and bounce around ideas. Help improve your neighborhood. In Tampa, there's a wonderful community group that has a Project Lottery. Each participant chooses a project they need completed on their house. A name is pulled every month. The neighbors spend one weekend on the project. The lucky owner provides drinks and snacks to the neighbors volunteering. Create a website of your own! Everyone has a voice. Today, websites are effective communicators and very inexpensive. Get the kids or the community involved. Let your voice be heard too!
Source: Free Articles

About the Author
As a writer, teacher and founder of http://www.citizens-stop-globalwarming.com , Helena Jackson is constantly trying to find simple and easy ways to make a difference in the world. Be sure to download our FREE E-Book with many great ideas and tips to save energy and save you money. http://www.citizens-stop-globalwarming.com/travelgreen.html Thanks!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Green RolyPig Composter

Green RolyPig Composter

Green RolyPig Composter

Green RolyPig Composter

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tiger Tote Bag

Old Blue Eyes Tiger Tote Bag

Old Blue Eyes Tiger Tote Bag

A majestic tiger with piercing blue eyes decorates this natural cotton canvas tote bag. Tiger Tote Bag is 17 1/2" x 13 1/3".

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baby Step Your Way to a Greener Lifestyle

Many people get discouraged when they start thinking of making changes in their day in order to become more environmentally responsible. We moms are already busy and many of us feel stressed out and tired. The thought of adding something new to the routine is overwhelming. That, coupled with discouraging reports from the media that claim it all doesn't matter, can cause many a mom to just give up. Yet I think most of us have a nagging sense that we're going to be forced to change at some point in the future. We're all concerned about what kind of air, soil and water our kids are going to inherit.

My feelings on the matter are this: Baby Step it.
There are plenty of changes you can implement, one at a time that add up to a big difference over time. And the changes build on themselves. Isn't it true that once we start a new routine, it seems like a big deal at first, but then we hardly notice it? Here are some ideas of things you can do right now to Baby Step your way to a greener life. I'll borrow the Three R's to illustrate.

1) ReplaceAs I mentioned, going green doesn't mean going out and buying all new stuff. While hemp t shirts are all well and good, throwing out your kid's wardrobe isn't exactly eco friendly. Neither is selling your perfectly good car to buy a hybrid. Think in terms of replacing stuff as it wears out with a better alternative. As an example, I had family in town last week an with the hustle and bustle and extra bodies, I managed to lose the charger to my cellphone. Instead of replacing it with another plug in charger, I'm buying a solar charger. As your lightbulbs die out, replace them with CFLs or LEDs. The next time you have to repaint your home, choose No VOC paints. When your favorite cleaning product wears out, keep the bottles and the all purpose dilutable cleaner from the Clorox Green Works line. It's inexpensive and very effective. I use it for everything from kitchen counters and toilets to mopping the floor.

2) RemindPutting reminders on your calender. For example, put "check tire pressure" on your calendar once a month. You'll burn less gas and save money too. What about reminding yourself to make a once a week trip to the recycling center instead of letting your recyclables pile up, tempting you to toss them instead? You can also do a yearly check up of your home: see if any of your toilets or faucets are leaking water, and check the seals on your refrigerator.

3) RethinkPart of going green is giving a little more mindfulness about your day to day decisions, especially about what you bring into your home. For instance, if you're planning a party, do you have to buy disposable plates and napkins? Why not use cloth napkins and real plates instead? They're far more elegant. When your computer wears out, instead of just tossing it, take it to Staples and have them recycle it. Or have a tech savvy teenager sell the parts on eBay.
I did this once and made almost as much money on the parts as the computer cost new!

Keeping these 3 principles in mind will help you "baby step" your way to a greener lifestyle. Making gradual changes that stick is the ticket here. Enjoy the process!

Excuse the e-waste

Become an informed e-Cycler in four simple steps.

We have e-mail, e-government, eBay. Stick and e- in front of any word and it can become new do-com slang, referring to the expanding terminology for all things tech. So add this to the list: e-Cycling. Environmentalists and techies alike define e-Cycling as the same old "reduce, reuse, recycle" catch phrase, but for electronics. Got e-waste? E-Cycle it.

There are very few downsides to e-Cycling. Recycling electronics will reduce greenhouse gases, the equivalent of taking more than 30,000 cars off the road each year in the United States, according to the Environment Protection Agency. It also may create space in your home office or attic. And you can pay it forward with programs that take donated equipment and give it to low-income families, nonprofits and schools.
Consider if you really use the 10-year-old desktop computer gathering dust in the spare bedroom. Or did you toss your old cell phone into a desk drawer instead of giving it back to the phone company? About two in 10 comsumers have an unused phone or computer, and that same number was estimated to have thrown the gadgets into the trash, according to a 2006 survey by consumer reports. With a few pointers, e-Cycling can be simple and rewarding.

Step 1: Chase the Arrows
The three R's - reduce, reuse, recycle- should be considered in that order. Recycling is the last alternative. Scrutinize your e-consumption and see if you can reduce the number of products that contain hazardous materials. Then move on to reuse. Gauge whether purchasing a new computer or printer is necessary or if the equipment can be updated instead. Then, if reducing and reusing your electronics aren't possible, recycling comes in.

Step 2: Directions, Please
The dumpster is not a good place to start. E-waste needs to be discarded differently than other trash, or it will end up clogging landfills and releasing mercury, lead and other toxic substances into the air and water. So know before you go.
About 90 percent of a computer's contents can be recycled, according to GreenerChoices.org, a nonprofit that urges consumers to go green. Check out these e-Cycling companies, whose Web sites offer drop-off locations.
  • For local listings, go to eiae.org
  • for an eco-event calendar and directory called "Act Locally," go to Earth911.com
  • For an energy calculator, go to mygreenelectronics.org
  • for information about rechargeable batteries and cell phones, go to rbrc.org

Also, most electronics retailers collect e'waste in specially placed drop-off boxes. Some even provide prepaid mailing labels so you can ship a computer or tv from home, free. And a few cell phone retailers will credit your account if you donate a functioning cell phone.

Step 3: Ask Questions

Once you pick a place, make sure your e-waste is properly disposed. Consider asking these questions:

  • How do th ey destroy personal data that may still be on a cell phone or computer?
  • Are they a full-service recycler? most service providers are not; they take in products but send them to another location to fully process your waste. Ask.
  • Have they violated any major environmental codes?
  • What is their rate of recycled-versus-disposed material? the electronics Industry Alliance suggests choosing a company that recycles at least 90 percent of the materials it collects, which leaves very little e-waste.

Step 4: Be Proactive

the hardest part may be loading up a bulky applianace and taking it in. Here's some incentive: Student groups like Silicon Valley's StRUT program (students recycling Used Technology) have placed nearly 5,000 free computers in schools. In one month alone, computers were donated to a senior citizens' housing complex in Tennessee, families received free computers in Vermont and inmates in Ohio are using the processors for GED programs- the fruits of just one nonprofit, The National Cristina Foundation.

Businesses are begging for your old stuff. Think green, and consider a new place for your e-waste.