Just How Much Power Do Your Electronics Use When They Are ‘Off’?

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Once upon a time, there was a difference between on and off. Now, it’s more complicated: Roughly 50 devices and appliances in the typical American household are always drawing power, even when they appear to be off, estimates Alan Meier, a senior scientist at the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab.

Taking the Stigma Out of Buying Used Electronics

Read the full story in the New York Times.

GameStop’s refurbishment of video game consoles underlines how a used electronic sold by a reputable brand can often be as good as buying new. While a used product may lack the original packaging or there might be some scuffs on it, the quality of many of the devices remains high and people who buy the gadgets do the world a favor by putting more use into the energy, metals, plastics and human labor invested in creating the product, said Carole Mars, the senior research lead for the Sustainability Consortium, which studies the sustainability of consumer goods.

ERCC Publishes Report on Consumer Awareness of Electronics Recycling Programs

Read the full story from the Sustainable Electronics Initiative.

The Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse (ERCC) published a report on March 15, 2016 entitled “ERCC Consumer Awareness Survey: A Look at How Electronics Recycling Programs Have Impacted E-Cycling Activities And Awareness.”

According to the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), this is “the first study comparing state-level consumer awareness levels of electronics recycling programs as well as other important consumer preferences. Previous surveys of consumer awareness on electronics recycling have focused on a nationwide rate or within a single state.

ERCC undertook the surveys in order to establish an additional measure of performance for electronics recycling programs, and to compare rates of awareness of electronics recycling options among states as well as ask other important questions. After developing a survey script with 10 standard questions on awareness, collection preference, barriers to recycling and other topics, ERCC surveyed member states who stepped forward to fund their survey costs, as well as other member and non-member states made possible by affiliate member contributions.

In all, ERCC surveyed 6 states WITHOUT electronics recycling laws and 6 states WITH electronics recycling laws at varying levels of confidence. To carry out the surveys, ERCC contracted with Service 800, a company with 20 years of experience in the design and execution of customer satisfaction measurement surveys.”

States participating which do have electronics recycling legislation included Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Texas. Participating states without such legislation included Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wyoming.


Recycling tech gadgets to reduce environmental pollution

Read the full story in the San Jose Mercury News.

The Silicon Valley innovation miracle that has ushered in dizzying new ways for people to live, work and play also has intensified the pressure to find environmentally responsible ways to dispose of gadgets rendered obsolete.

What Apple’s reuse robot says about sustainability and tech

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

A robot that can take apart an iPhone is good for the visibility of green design, but it won’t fix environmental ills such as e-waste.

Producer Responsibility or Government Liability: Regulating E-waste

Read the full story in Waste 360.

Sometimes, seemingly practical solutions to routine issues can have devastating outcomes. Look at the decisions that led to the Flint water crisis. Starting with Michigan statutes allowing all-empowering intervention, state policies were designed to focus primarily on economic measurements. Ironically, by failing to consider other equally important related indicators, Flint experienced the collapse of the water delivery infrastructure along with long-term and indeterminable cost to trust and public health.

Something similar is afoot when it comes to e-waste. If current headlines are any indication, shortcomings common to a number of state e-waste laws have surfaced as the latest recycling crisis.

Shazam for Plants Will Identify Any Plant From a Picture

Read the full story at Ryot.

Some scientists have estimated that there are about 400,000 flowering plant species in the world — that’s a lot of plants.

So you’ll be okay if you don’t know each and every one of them. But if you’re really curious about that one flower you walked past on the park, don’t worry there’s an app that will help you identify that plant.

PlantNet is an app that will help you identify a plant just by taking a picture of it — think of it as the Shazam for plants.