Jan 19 2011

recycle your electronics for good [day 238]

I saw this recycling box at the local camera shop.  No, I wasn’t shopping, I had to go there for work.  I was surprised to see the red dot that says, “10% of proceeds will go to charity”.  10%?  There are a lot of collection boxes where all of the proceeds go to charity.  I know there’s some cost involved with the recycling or repurposing of electronics, but this is clearly a retail profit center.  I’m not against retailers making money, but if you have a choice of 10% or 100% of proceeds going to help people, wouldn’t you rather choose 100%?

The really important thing here is that these electronics don’t end up in a landfill.  Most of them contain toxic materials that pollute our drinking water and our environment.  As long as the dumb phones, VCR’s, camcorders, old cameras and old computers stay out of the trash, I can live with a little bit of retailer pocket padding.  If you have a choice of 10% or 100% though, go for the 100%.

Aug 2 2010

energy [day 66]

I’m power cleaning my house and working all weekend, so not much time to even think about shopping… not that I would if I had time though.  It takes a lot of motivation and energy to clean the house.  Having less stuff does make it easier, as there’s less stuff to pick up.  Unfortunately that doesn’t make the dust bunnies go away.  While cleaning my house, I was thinking about energy.  Not the kind it takes to clean, but my energy company.  I’m using Stream, which has saved me a lot of money, but is not renewable energy.

I decided to start researching power companies and find one with 100% renewable energy.  ‘Shopping’ for power is completely overwhelming.  There’s so many to choose from and so much fine print, and don’t get me started on the feedback and comments about these companies.  My big questions:

  • Are the 100% renewable really 100% renewable energy?
  • Which company has the best pricing, but is also doing this for the right reasons?
  • How can I find the right one without having to read fine print for hours?

I asked a few people at work about their power providers.  Interestingly, in a energy-deregulated society where you should be able to choose your provider, I found that several people don’t have a choice.  They have CoServ and are not allowed to choose.  I was told this is because it’s a co-op.  Figures someone found a way around the ‘choice’ option.  Some were happy with it, others, not so much.  I would like to research it a bit more and see how they’re pulling this off.  When I looked up the pricing, they are substantially higher priced than many advertised providers.  Energy monopoly?  Energy cult?  Energy prison?  Okay, I’ll stop.  I have enough of my own research to do without picking on CoServ (right now).

I’m open to any comments or suggestions.  :)