We posed this question to Bill Sweat, co-founder of Winderlea Vineyard & Winery in Oregon.
Here’s what he had to say:
My most important advice: Develop a relationship with your local wine shop. They’ll get to know your tastes, and they’ll help you discover new wines. The people who own and work in wine shops know the stories of the wines they sell, and that will usually include how the vineyards are farmed and how the wine is made. Plus, they are probably pretty great people who know all the best places to eat and will invite you to special wine tastings!
Second, when most wineries talk about being green they’re talking about their farming and perhaps their management practices but not necessarily about their winemaking. It’s easy for the customer to get confused over terms like ‘farmed organic’, ‘biodynamic’, or ‘sustainable practices’. Also, many wineries don’t get certified because they think the process is too time-consuming, expensive, or both.
Here’s a quick overview:
• There are lots of organizations that certify sustainable farming practices. One of the largest is the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC). Winderlea is certified by LIVE — Low Input Viticulture and Enology. We’re happy about that because LIVE is a “whole farm” program: their guidelines apply to the entire property, not just individual crops.
• In the US, organic farming rules are set by the National Organic Program of the USDA. “Class O”, for organically grown, prevents synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Instead, we Class O farms use compost, crop rotation, green manures, and natural predation of pests. Note: There is also organic certification for wine production, which means sulfur is not used during the production process, leading to potentially harmful sulfites. That’s why most wines are not certified organic. It’s much more common to find wines made from organic certified grapes.
• Biodynamics is a whole-farm philosophy that begins with the same requirements as organic farming: no synthetic fertilizers, no pesticides, in favor of composting. Biodynamics uses homeopathic sprays to encourage natural growth — small amounts of manure, herbs, silica, for example. Now for the funky part: biodynamic farming assumes that the planets have an impact on the development of the soil and plants and so relies on an astronomical calendar for determining when to take different actions. Skeptics view this as voodoo, but there is no denying that some of the best vineyards in the world farm use Biodynamic practices, including ours!
Stay tuned for Bill’s recommendations on specific wines to try. And, if you already have favorites, or questions for Bill, please send them in.
My favorite is Winderlea’s 2007 Estate Pinot Noir. What is yours?
Looking for a mental break? We thought this video from Planet 100 was a hoot. My top eco-contradiction? “Eco-Shape” disposable plastic water bottles. Disposable and plastic are the keywords…
Tell us the eco-contradictions you’ve discovered!
Sarah is a start-up veteran and publishing whiz, with experiences ranging from the New Yorker to Atlantic Monthly to launch programming director at iVillage. She has also served on the board of Seventh Generation, the steering committee at Shelburne Farms & has three kids. She claims she met husband Jack as she mindlessly hucked batteries into the trash and he converted her to his green ethos. Sarah will be contributing regularly to the blog, Facebook & Twitter and lead other programming initiatives.
Welcome Sarah–we’re thrilled you are here!
Saturday is when this year’s Earth Hour is occurring. Don’t know what Earth Hour is? Watch this strikingly beautiful video to learn what the event is and if nothing else, prepare to be moved and inspired.
Earth Hour is Saturday March 27th at 8:30 pm. This is one option, what are you planning for Saturday night?
5 BPA-free, Eco-Friendly Baby Bottles: Protect your baby by using safe and stylish non-toxic bottles.
How To Build a Rain Barrel: Spring is here! Creating a rain barrel to collect those precious rain drops is a smart money/water saving strategy.
Top 7 Eco-Friendly Easter Gifts for Kids: Great gifts ideas ranging from toys to tees from Inhabitots.
Keep your kids busy with fun green activities that allow them to learn AND play (isn’t that great?!).
New and Cool Pick:
Fiskar’s Momentum Reel Mower: Save some energy and fuel by using some good ole’ elbow grease. The smart mower stores energy to provide a little extra “oomph” when you need it.
Photo Credit: http://www2.fiskars.com/Products/Yard-and-Garden/Reel-Mowers/Momentum-Reel-Mower
I don’t watch a lot of TV. I don’t usually have time or I would rather be doing something else. But for weeks now, I have seen advertisements for ABC’s new six-part series “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” During one of the commercials I watched, Jamie, a renowned British TV chef, asked a student what vegetable he was holding (he was holding tomatoes) and the student didn’t know. My mouth dropped. What? The kid hasn’t seen a real tomato enough times to know what one looks like? Then it showed the school kitchen where the female workers were preparing the daily school lunch. On the menu was mashed potatoes (made from some artificial ‘Potato Pearls’) and artificially flavored and colored milk. And to top it off, French Fries counted as vegetables on the school menu and pizza is served for breakfast! Those of us who are foodies and horrified of processed foods and additives would probably faint if we were Jamie Oliver.
Yes, this is extreme, but it is a reality in our country.
Jamie’s show, which is set to premiere tomorrow at 8/7c on ABC, hopes to take on obesity, diabetes and heart disease and reverse the prediction that America’s children are the first generation not expected to live as long as their parents. Jamie will travel to America’s “unhealthiest city”, Huntington, West Virginia, to bring to light the awful eating habits, food quality and weight problems present in American society. This show may be sad and unsettle some stomachs, but I think it is needed and I will be planning some TV time tomorrow night.
Anyone else going to be a couch potato (tomato? green bean?) tomorrow night as well to watch this show? Do you think this show is relevant? needed?
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/manjithkaini/1061718736/
About a year ago, I started weeding out most things with high fructose corn syrup. I actually had no idea exactly why it was bad. I just read a little too much Michael Pollan, noticed it was on the banned list at Whole Foods and decided there wasn’t a whole lot of reason to eat or drink the darn stuff anyway. (Ok–except Girl Scout cookies…those get a hall pass).
Well—thanks to researchers at Princeton–I now know the answer. And in fact, what they found has potential to be really important in the broader battle against obesity. From a Princeton news release earlier this week:
A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.
“Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”
On top of it all, researchers have also found that many products with high fructose corn syrup also contained mercury. Blech!
I’m a big believer in moderate life changes so I wouldn’t recommend spending the next two hours trashing your cupboards and banning your kids (or spouse) from favorite treats. But if you want to know where to start, here’s a list of common foods with high fructose corn syrup: breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups, soda, and condiments. It’s also in a lot of fast food. And, unfortunately, several types of Girl Scout Cookies. Which is why, thank goodness, this is Practically Green— not perfectly green.
I am very good at killing plants. Sometimes it is too much attention, sometimes cluelessness (I’ve got spidermites??) and other times, sheer neglect. Needless to say, my better half just laughed out loud when I told him I wanted to grow a garden this year. ”But food grown in the garden just tastes better,” I argued. He didn’t disagree, but pointed out the operative word was grow–which he was skeptical I could make happen. I tried argument number two. ”It will be fun for the kids and isn’t it good for them to learn where food comes from and play in the dirt? Aren’t you worried about nature deficit disorder?” He thinks the sandbox is just fine and rolled his eyes at nature deficit disorder. I finally unloaded with argument number three. ”They say it’s cheaper than buying organic in stores….” That caught his attention. He is an accountant after all. So after some number spinning, he said it MIGHT be worth looking into.
I started reading “Gardening for Dummies” and then realized I needed more serious help—in the form of a local service called Green City Growers. They specialize in helping super busy people and/or clueless people build and manage gardens. While I’m both, I didn’t envision outsourcing this completely to them. I just need help getting started—selecting the site, building the beds, picking the right plants, and someone to call when I have bugs I can’t identify as friend or foe.
Most of you are probably way more attuned to your plant life and find DIY gardening very easy. But just in case, I thought I would use this process as an excuse to create Practically Green’s first How To video series and the team at Green City Growers has graciously agreed to let me document their attempts to help arguably one of the brownest thumbs in town. This week, it was all about figuring out where to put the garden, how big to make it, and gently let me know that all this composting might not actually be usable. Hope you enjoy it (and get a chuckle out of the home-movie style ;-))
Do you have any gardening tips, war stories, or homemade videos to share?
This post is for the Green Moms Carnival on gardening hosted this month by Green Talk. Be sure to check out stories and tips from other green moms who are preparing their families and gardens for spring.
My daughter and I love Indian food so this front page article in today’s Boston Globe caught my attention. The concern is largely with imported spices and powders (which it turns out we don’t use), but figured some of you might buy imported spices or know someone who does—so wanted to pass on the link.
10 Beauty Products to Ditch When Pregnant: Protect your baby when you are pregnant by avoiding these chemical-ridden products.
Too Much Soap is a Bad Thing For Appliances: Using too much of the sudsy stuff can actually decrease efficiency and shorten the life of your dishwasher and washing machine.
Herbal Essences Decreases Toxins: Proctor & Gamble plans to reduce levels of carcinogens in its well-known hair care line.
Microwaves can get messy but we don’t like the idea of cleaning the inside of the appliance with harsh chemicals or cleaners because we cook our food in it. This video shows you how to clean your microwave in a green and healthy way.
New and Cool Pick:
Dutch entrepreneurs invented Smart Energy Glass windows that allow you to control the amount of light entering the room while collecting solar energy and generating power. (We want these in our office!)
Yesterday, my roommate approached me holding an empty plastic granola container from Whole Foods and asked if it could be put in our household recycling bin. My instinctive response was, “Yea, of course. Doesn’t it have the little arrows in a triangle with a number in the center? Then it is recyclable.” As she walked away to toss it, I thought, “Shoot. I better look that up…” I have been recycling plastics all my life but I don’t think I ever actually learned what the numbers mean in the center of the recycling symbol. Well, here is what I learned:
The number on plastics actually represents the type of plastic used in the manufacturing of that particular plastic product. Plastics are often called “resins” and the numbers are called “Resin ID Codes”. The numbers are also there to tell you which plastics are best for reusing and how to appropriately recycle them. There are seven Resin ID Codes used and they all differ in what they are made of, safety, how they should be recycled, whether they are reusable and what they can be made into after being recycled.
#1 : PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)
Found in: soda, juice, water and beer bottles, mouthwash bottles, oven-ready meal trays, peanut butter containers, salad dressing containers and vegetable oil containers.
Warnings: it is a porous plastic that allows bacteria and flavor to accumulate, therefore they shouldn’t be reused or refilled for personal use.
Recycling: picked up by most curbside recycling programs
Recycled into: fiber, tote bags, furniture, carpet and polar fleece.
#2 : HDPE (high-density polyethylene)
Found in: milk jugs, detergent bottles, butter tubs, personal care product bottles, cereal box liners, and some trash and shopping bags (it is an opaque plastic).
Recycling: picked up by most curbside recycling programs
Recycled into: laundry detergent bottles, oil bottles, fencing, pens, recycling containers, floor tile, and benches.
#3 : PVC (vinyl or polyvinyl chloride)
Found in: plastic cling wraps, many children’s toys, detergent and window cleaner bottles, cooking oil bottles, medical equipment, shower curtains, and fashion accessories.
Warnings: it contains chlorine and during manufacture it releases highly toxic dioxins, not safe to cook food with or near, contains phthalates which can interfere with hormonal development and should never be burned because toxic chemicals can be released.
Recycling: rarely accepted by recycling programs.
Recycled into: decks, mudflaps, roadway gutters, cables, speed bumps and mats.
#4 : LDPE (low-density polyethylene)
Found in: grocery bags, some food wraps, squeezable bottles, clothing, carpet, furniture, and bread, frozen food and dry cleaning bags.
Recycling: recyclable but not often accepted by curbside recycling programs (but many stores will often take back shopping bags after use.)
Recycled into: trash can liners and cans, shipping envelopes, floor tiles, compost bins and paneling.
#5 : PP (polypropylene)
Found in: syrup bottles, ketchup bottles, some yogurt containers, caps, straws, medicine bottles, many reusable food and drink containers (think Tupperware and Rubbermaid), and some baby bottles.
Recycling: recyclable through some curbside programs.
Recycled into: signal lights, brooms brushes, ice scrapers, battery cables, trays and bins.
#6 : PS (polystyrene) (Styrofoam)
Found in: disposable containers and packaging: foam trays for meat and fish, egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery, protective packaging for electronic goods and toys.
Warnings: it has been found to leach styrene–a neurotoxin and possible human carcinogen, and should not be heated.
Recycling: difficult to recycle, often not accepted by curbside recycling programs.
Recycled into: insulation, light switch plates, rulers, foam packing and carry-out containers.
#7 : Other (miscellaneous plastics invented after 1987)
Found in: iPods, computer cases, baby bottles, food storage containers, three and five-gallon water bottles, “bullet-proof” materials, DVDs, and nylon.
Warnings: unsafe sometimes because some contain BPA, a hormone disruptor, and Polycarbonate or PC (found in old Nalgene bottles).
Recycling: difficult to recycle, often not accepted by curbside recycling programs.
Recycled into: custom-made products and plastic lumber.
Because recycling rules vary in each community, we are so glad there are great sites like Earth911.com that allow you to look up nearby recycling centers and programs in your area. We also encourage you to be green by supporting companies that use recycled products like Boston’s own, Preserve Products.
I have a fun time asking people what green thing they’ve done that they’ve loved the most. Today I got the greatest idea from one of our fans—she has purchased a little machine that makes sparkling water for her at home, ridding life of that all that bottle waste, the back-breaking box from BJ’s, saving her money and really—the little gadget is just so stylish.
You can find this one at Williams-Sonoma. If you know of other places they are available, let us know!
So–recommend us, share us, and forward us around. If we hit 200+ fans, email subscribers, twitter followers by the end of St. Patrick’s Day, one of you will win a free “spring cleaning” basket filled with our favorite green cleaning stuff.
Have fun spreading the green and thank you for being among our Founding Fans! Best, Susan, Lauren, Jason & the rest of the Practically Green team.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mujitra/2769691885/
Today, it is finally sunny in Boston after 11 inches of rain. And many of us have spent the last 24 hours dealing with water in our basements (or the sink hole underneath the T lines). In order to make you feel better for missing fun dinners, kids events or work, you should know that this is an absolutely critical thing to do.
Water is just bad stuff for homes. According to Stuart Brand, from How Buildings Learn:
The root of all evil is water. It dissolves buildings. Water…consumes wood, erodes masonry, peels paint, expands destructively when it freezes and permeates everywhere when it evaporates. It warps, swells, discolors, rusts, loosens, mildews and stinks.
And mold, which emanates from water, is really bad for your family’s health and can cause immune disorders and toxic reactions not to mention plummet the value of your real estate.
So if you have water, now what? The key is to get rid of it and you have 24-48 hours to do it before you risk getting mold growth. Here are the steps from the Washington State Department of Health:
If you still have water in your basement:
- Do not drain water inside the basement until most of the water on the outside of the walls has gone down. This will prevent the walls from being pushed in or the floors from heaving.
- If you have a large amount of water in your basement or if there is no basement drain, you may need to buy or rent a sump pump to get rid of the water.
- If your electrical panel is located in an area of your home that has been flooded, you will be unable to use an electric sump pump unless you use a pump powered by a 12-volt auto battery. A gasoline engine pump may be used if exhaust can be vented to the outside.
- Start pumping water out of your basement if the water inside is higher than the flood water level outside. You may need a measure to determine this.
- Stop pumping when the two water levels become equal. Pump the basement water out at the same rate at which the flood waters recede.
If the water is gone, and now you need to clean:
- Shovel mud from the basement as soon as all water has drained or has been pumped out to allow floors and walls to dry.
- Remove silt and dirt stains by rinsing concrete walls and masonry foundation walls with a high pressure hose.
- If stains remain on the walls, scrub them with a stiff bristle brush and household detergent. Begin at the top and work down. Rinse often with clear water.
- Start drying the basement as quickly as possible in order to minimize wood decay or growth of mold.
- Open all doors and windows to allow the moisture to flow outside.
- Buy or rent a fan or dehumidifier to speed up the drying process.
- If you are sensitive to mold or mildew, wear a mask or respirator containing an appropriate filter.
If the water is gone and you’ve cleaned, but it’s still stinky:
- If ventilation does not remove odors:
- Mop concrete floor and walls with a bleach solution (3/4 cups of household bleach to a gallon of water). (PG Note: This might be the one time we recommend the real BLEACH!)
- Rinse and dry after 5 minutes.
- Open windows when applying the bleach solution.
- Place a lump of dry charcoal in an open tin/metal container to absorb odors.
Some Safety Tips:
- Be careful before using any electric appliance in a house that has been flooded. If water is near your major electrical/HVAC systems, call 911.
- Never turn on wet electric appliances because they may cause an electric shock, overheat, or start a fire.
If you are worried about mold, here is a useful guide from the EPA about mold prevention and abatement.
If you had asked me Saturday what the % of garbage that gets recycled in Massachusetts was, I would have been utterly, totally wrong. I thought perhaps high sixties, low seventies. Massachusetts is pretty progressive, right? Tough environmental laws, right? San Francisco is in the 70’s so we can’t be far behind, right? NOOO. Massachusetts recycling rates are in the high twenties (which is still better than most states!). Why? One perspective from The Boston Globe story says people just can’t be bothered,
Knowledge doesn’t equal behavior, said Claire Sullivan, who directs the South Shore Recycling Cooperative, which works to boost recycling in 13 towns south of Boston. A lot of people just can’t be bothered, which is extremely disheartening. They take the path of least resistance. So if it’s easier to throw it away, they’ll throw it away.
In some cities, like my own, recycling is actually DOWN by double digit percentages. All of this is slightly depressing except it points out that knowledge is not enough. People often need another form of motivation to do something green.
1. Real Costs: communities who are putting in the “pay as you throw” system are seeing huge increases in recycling
2. Real Benefits: Recyclebank is a company that works with municipalities to implement a rewards program based on recycling rates. Points can be cashed in for real stuff. Some towns with Recyclebank report an increase in recycling of 90%.
So–when our site launches later this spring, our focus is going to be on how we motivate and inspire people to live green and yes, knowledge is part of it, but real benefits is a big piece too.
In the interim, I’m just going to have to do a Smoky the Bear type appeal—please recycle something, anything today.
I never understood why someone would buy the “expensive” organic milk that sat next to Whole Foods generic organic milk. Milk is milk and organic is organic, right? Unfortunately, I’ve recently come to learn– no. Here’s quote from Michael Pollan, from The New York Times Magazine.
To supply the escalating demand for cheap organic milk, agribusiness companies are setting up 5,000-head dairies, often in the desert. These milking cows never touch a blade of grass, instead spending their days standing around a dry-lot “loafing area” munching organic grain — grain that takes a toll on both the animals’ health (these ruminants evolved to eat grass, after all) and the nutritional value of their milk. But this is the sort of milk (deficient in beta-carotene and the “good fats” — like omega 3’s and C.L.A. — that come from grazing cows on grass) we’re going to see a lot more of in the supermarket..
Hmmm…that doesn’t sound so good. So true–organic is a great first step relatively speaking, it really isn’t the end all be all. Figures. So I started looking more closely at that Organic Valley milk. Two things convinced me to convert.
1. This Fast Company article shows that these are real family farmers with sustainable farming methods and pastured cows. It’s a cooperative, the milk is relatively local, and so if you are trying to avoid factory farming–it’s legit—not a bunch of what Pollan calls “pastoral marketing”.
2. Coupons. It takes a little sting out of that price and actually makes it CHEAPER than the factory stuff. Now you’re talking!!
So–we’re sharing our secret link so you two can get a $1 off a gallon of milk from a very happy cow. As well as cream cheese, eggs and everything else they make.
Google Maps Adds “Bike There” Feature: Now you can find the most direct route for a bike trek while avoiding hills and excessive traffic (we think it makes being green convenient!).
Road Test: Best All-Natural Toothpastes: Hoping to avoid the chemicals, additives, detergents and sweeteners in conventional toothpaste? Fortunately, there are healthy (and flavorful) options.
Save Money with Healthy Coupons: Sites that offer coupons for the natural and organic food you (probably) already buy.
We already liked Annie and her Story of Stuff, but in this interview Steven Colbert does a great job of playfully challenging her and cracking a few jokes which makes us love her message even more.
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
New and Cool Pick:
Waterpebble Water-Saving Device: This cute device measures how much water you use while you shower then challenges you to shorten your bathing time the next time you step into the tub.
(Those of us who are known klutzes may not want to purchase one of these cool devices, but we will buy them for our coordinated friends!)
Photo credit: http://gizmodo.com/5487584/waterpebble-encourages-shorter-water+saving-showers
For obvious reasons, I read a lot of green blogs. Very few make our favorites cut, but today I found one that really hit home called The Conscious Shopper. It hit home because of the their tagline: Go Green. Live Better. Save Money.
Save Money?? Isn’t being green MORE expensive?
Then I read Erin’s story and realized—you know–our story isn’t that different. When we first went green we had two-incomes, 1 kid, lived in a condo, and well, we just didn’t have to think as much about the cost of organic food and natural products. One recession, one decision to do a start-up, two kids, and a house later—it’s a legitimate question to ask whether we can still afford to do all this green stuff.
As I started thinking about how we were cutting back and where we are spending, I realized that this self-induced frugalista period is actually making us greener and there are also many, many ways that being greener is saving us money. Here are just a few examples:
* I now take public transportation to my office, which avoids tolls, gas, and mileage expenses AND prolongs the life of our 100K miles+ wagon. Estimated operating savings of $70/month and whatever a car payment would be.
* use of freecycle has avoided at least $200 in expenses
* consigning clothes has so far netted me about $150 and discovering the delicate cycle on our clothes washer versus drycleaning many items has saved ~$50/month
* reducing our red meat consumption has saved at least $100/month
And the green home investments we made in flusher times are saving us a bundle now—at least $600 a month in the winter and $200 month in the summer thanks to the CFL bulbs, dual pane windows, more insulation, and new heating system. Without those, I can’t even imagine making the decisions we made this year regarding our work.
Erin’s blog does a much better job than I’ve every done of keeping track of her spending & energy usage and I found it really useful just to see what another green mom spends on groceries (phew! I’m not as bad as I feared). However, the most inspirational parts are the weekly “green challenges”—something we at Practically Green love and are planning for our site when we launch. She’s got a great list of items to pick from and posts a new one each week. She also has a Facebook group called Going Green without Going Broke.
So yes, organic milk is more expensive than regular milk. I’m not going to try to tell you that on an item by item basis green is cheaper. But what Erin and other Conscious Shopper resources show is that a greener lifestyle can also be a more affordable lifestyle by eliminating waste, reducing consumption, prioritizing quality over quantity, and adding in healthier habits.
A good perspective to keep in mind when restocking that ridiculously expensive all natural baby shampoo.
We’d love to hear from you—any ways that you think green has saved you money? Where do you splurge for green?
I have a cast-iron tub in the garage that contains one old computer monitor dumped on our lawn by some jerk last spring, a broken clock radio, and a broken VCR. Inside, I have three plastic bins filled with functioning, but technically obsolete cameras, old cell phones, video recorders, old blackberries, at least five remotes, and lots and lots of cords. We even have the “ornamental” computer—it still looks good sitting in the kitchen, but hasn’t worked very well for months. We are a mountain of e-waste waiting to happen, especially with spring cleaning fever beginning to set in.
The temptation is to dump it all at the town recycling center–and declare victory for managing to find it during the 4 hours it’s open on a weekend. But that doesn’t seem very green—so what to do?
1. The first decision is to fix it or nix it. Greenerchoices.org is part of the Consumer Reports family and provides a useful “Fix it or Nix it” guide of whether you should bother fixing an item and a surprising number of ways to fix stuff. It also suggests repair and upgrade options. Alternatively, if you decide to nix the item, the site suggests where you can donate or sell the item or recycle it responsibly.
We are fixing the computer, one DVR, and one camera. Everything else is on the nix list.
2. OK–now for nix list. Should you sell, donate, or recycle?
To determine whether any of your electronics have value, you can visit gazelle.com or yourenew.com. They also offer e-recycling options for those products that don’t have any value. Thanks to those sites I have confirmed my stuff is totally worthless…at least to them. You may find some luck on eBay or Craigslist, but my personal opinion is the $2 I’m likely to clear isn’t worth the effort.
The next stop for anything working, or perhaps even something that isn’t, can either be the charitable route (earth911.com has a fabulous zip code based list of charities that accept electronics) or the neighborly route through freecycle.org. Freecycle has worked well for us for most items and the only downside is coordinating pick-up times.
And last, but not least–there is the recycling option. I love that BestBuy will take one item back a day, whether you bought it there or not, and the majority for free. Staples also has a pretty comprehensive program although only the Dell branded items are totally free. And then, if you are fortunate to have access to one, there is the town recycling center. Most aren’t open as often as Best Buy, but now that you’ve winnowed down the load, you can also add the broken chair, CFL bulbs, and old paint cans piling up in the garage to the trip.
What’s piling up in your home? Have you found any “impossible to recycle” electronics items? Good ideas for donating or reuse of electronics? Let us know…