From Good Clean Tech: Erik Rhey’s list of eco- Don’ts:
Print everything under the sun. You want to print out a recipe or article and automatically hit the Print button. Then you go to the printer and discover that you needed only 1 page of the 4 that printed. Restrain yourself from automatically printing stuff from the Web. What typically happens is that you print it out and put it in a folder to languish until you do your spring file cleaning and just throw it out anyway. Most of the time you didn’t need a printed copy to begin with. And if you do need to print, preview it first and print only the pages you need.
Throw out your iPod or cell phone the minute a new one comes out. People are most wasteful with these two categories of device. Unless your phone or MP3 player is completely broken, don’t throw it out. You will not be shunned by society if your device is a generation or two behind. If your identity is that tied to your gadgets, you need to go sit down on a park bench and take serious inventory of yourself.
For more eco-friendly technology coverage, go to PCMag.com’s Green Tech page!
Buy your kids cheap electronic crap. Think twice before getting your kids everything that blips, beeps, zips around the living room via remote control, or plays games. Imagine yourself taking it home from the store, unpackaging it, putting it on the floor, and stomping it to pieces–because that’s how it will end up very soon. You are teaching your small kids to be ignorant overconsumers who pay no attention to quality. Buy cheap and buy often is the lesson you are imparting. Not to mention the plastic, packaging, and batteries that end up in landfill.
Leave your computer on day and night. I’ve heard the arguments. People hate the lag time every morning waiting for their PCs to start up. Don’t just sit there and watch the Windows status bar go back and forth, go make some coffee or do some sit-ups or something. Yes, time is precious. But how much TV do you watch per day? If you’re the average American, about 4 hours. Are you really telling me you can’t shave 2 minutes off your TV watching or pointless Web surfing regimen to save a few kilowatt hours?
Throw away or recycle perfectly usable devices. Recycling is good, but if the device still works, donate it. Do you throw away good food? Furniture in good condition? There may not be starving kids in China that will die if you don’t eat your peas, but there are plenty of kids in underfunded schools who could use your Pentium II system, and women in domestic abuse shelters who depend on donated cellphones.