Day Five: Replace kilowatts with ingenuity

At first glance, this challenge seems … unchallenging. “Explore no-energy alternatives to accomplish your daily tasks.”

Of course, I’m typing this into my desktop computer, which needs electricity. Strike one. (Working on a laptop uses less energy). I’m working by natural light and am wearing a down vest to keep the chill of the day at bay. Our thermostat is programmed to start it’s journey down to 63 degrees at 5PM and back up to 69 starting at 6AM. I know a couple people who have their heat jacked up to 75 so they can run around in shorts AND open windows for fresh air. That is just… Continue reading

Is your old cell phone leaking toxins?

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Mobile phones and other devices (pagers, PDAs) present a growing threat to the environment.

Only 1 in 10 cell phones are recycled. As of 2009, there are more than ONE BILLION mobile phones waiting to be recycled (in drawers or already in the waste stream). Cell phones and accessories are made from valuable materials such as precious metals, copper, and plastics – all of which require energy to extract and manufacture. Nine out of ten cell phones or devices end up in the waste stream, leaking lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and other toxic substances into the water supply. Some municipalities incinerate their waste, releasing toxins into our air. Continue reading

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