Earth Day & Responsible Spring Cleaning) 4/22/2013 <p>Happy Earth Day!</p> <p>Being an online student means that you’re probably already being environm

Earth Day & Responsible Spring Cleaning

Happy Earth Day!

Being an online student means that you’re probably already being environmentally friendly, even if you don't realize it. You’re not buying as many paper textbooks when you use the Digital Bookshelf, and you’re turning in digital copies of your assignments rather than long printed reports. Since the season is also right for spring cleaning, here are some ways you can honor Earth Day and rid your home of clutter at the same time.

What electronics can be recycled?

Do you have old cell phones lying around somewhere? A television? Printer? Camera? Computer? Many people have at least one electronic gadget, big or small, that they don’t know what to do with. If you’re no longer using these items, you can recycle them rather than throw them away.

No matter what you are recycling, make sure you delete any personal data from the device. If it’s a computer, find someone at a local computer store to help you wipe the hard drive. You can also find instructions online about deleting information from your cell phone and other electronics.

Why recycle electronics?

With our world of ever-changing technology and innovation, what’s new quickly becomes old and out-of-date, meaning that lots of electronics end up in the garbage. When this happens, not only are we filling landfills with items that don’t decompose quickly, but dangerous chemicals such as mercury, arsenic, lead and cadmium can leak into the soil and contaminate the earth.

Where can I recycle electronics?

First, consider that you might not even need to recycle your device. You may be able to trade it in for an upgrade or sell it at a yard sale or online (check out You can also donate certain used electronic devices. For example, organizations such as Cell Phones for Soldiers, 911 Cell Phone Bank and National Coalition against Domestic Violence accept used cell phones for great causes.

If you do choose to recycle your electronics, many retailers (including Target, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples and Walmart) frequently provide drop boxes for doing so at their locations. Manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, LG and Dell also commonly offer e-cycling programs. Sites like, can also help you to find a recycling location near you.


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