Buried alive in old electronics HELP

I am growing increasingly concerned about my family’s safety and wellbeing. Any second now, our mountain of electronic devices and accessories will topple and bury us alive. Eek!

Am I exaggerating? You tell me.

The exponential growth of electronics and corresponding software, cables, chargers and equipment in our home is astounding. It started with my smartphone. My bride got one next, then my oldest kid, and on down the line. Of course, we all upgraded to newer versions after about 18 months (when our first phones surrendered to various breakage, battery problems or feature issues). We kept the old ones around, I guess, because it seemed like to shame to toss them.

Around this time, the tablet wave hit. Kindles, iPads, Nooks, and their accessories arrived in droves. Meanwhile our Wii became lonely and acquired two friends: a Power Station and an Xbox.

That’s not all. Throw in handheld gaming devices, digital cameras, GPS watches and laptops. Equipment and chargers now litter the landscape.

When does this merry-go-round stop?

Reduce, reuse and recycle is the best option, I believe. Many companies—including Best Buy, Apple, Verizon and AT&T—have trade-in programs. If your device has no monetary value, most electronic manufacturers will recycle it for free. Dell, Apple, and some cell phone companies will even recycle devices made by other brands. Staples has a free recycling program too.

If you’re like me, you have a million questions about recycling electronics. Which charger can I throw out? Which device only needs a battery? Which one can be repurposed in the future?

Consumer Reports offers great advice on how to recycle your electronics. You can learn more about recycling responsibly at the Electronics TakeBack Coalition website. Lastly, before choosing a recycling service, you can make sure they are certified by e-Stewards.

Of course, donating your used phones, laptops and tablets to friends, family, schools and charitable organizations is a fantastic idea too.

Are you worried about getting crushed by an avalanche of e-waste? What’s your favorite way to recycle?

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