Do Your Things Own You?

Recycling cell phonesFor years I’ve said: “a girl can’t have too many computers or web devs.”

This was mostly in reference to the fact that for the past fifteen years or so I’ve been cocooned in an electromagnetic field from at least three computers, a router, cell phone and several printers. I still feel strongly that every modern girl needs a trusted web developer at her disposal. However, I’ve been eyeballing my computers, servers, and laptops lately and feeling that I could get rid of most of them and their accessory friends.

If I could, I would just pitch them all in the trash, but I can’t pollute the world like that, so, like so many other people, I’ve let my tech gear pile up. And, because I’ve been in the tech industry for so long, I have huge plastic tubs of hard drives (Syquest, Jazz, Flash), CDs, floppies, servers, and computers – it’s bad. Plus, I was a commercial photographer before that so I have cameras to get rid of too.

Time for a post to force myself to look up the answers where and how items can be recycled or reused.

  • Sell. Thank fortune for (a great recycler). It takes time to photo, post and respond to emails, but I made $600 on my old studio lights…now time for those old film cameras.
  • Reuse/Repurpose. Check out an alpha-test site Trash Backwards.  Just type in the item you want to get reuse and it’ll list options for repurposing it. For instance, to reuse CDs you’ll find ideas for jewelry, yarn weaving, garden decoys, mobiles, and coasters.
  • Recycle. If you’re near Seattle, try Total Reclaim (that’s where I think I’m going to take my tubs of electronics) or for disks and some other tech products try Green Disk. 
And, keep an eye out for stores that take printer cartridges or other recyclables. A local wine store, Eleven Winery  is recycling cell phones for free on Bainbridge Island. Who would have thunk? The company they work with refurbishes them so they can be reused (be sure to remove any SIM cards). I got rid of three cell phones and related chargers. Yay!
  • Donate. Goodwill takes clothes, of course, but check with your local branch to see if they’ll take any electronics. The Seattle branch even takes old digital cameras, so I got rid of two Sony Maciva cameras.

I find that clutter can suck the oxygen out of my life, and caring for stuff slows me down. I’d rather visit with friends, go biking or just about anything other than dust or organize stuff. I don’t know about you, but my stuff is very demanding.

Looking to Do Even More Downsizing?

It’s one thing to get rid of clutter in one corner of your house, but maybe you’re a closet Minimalist and don’t know it. Are you itching to get out from under a mortgage, high-pressure job, or just have more time to follow your bliss?  A smaller, less cluttered abode might be the answer.

When I heard about The Minimalists from my swim pal, Ann, at a party recently, I felt as though they might be low-carbon girl’s long-lost cousins. Two guys who quit their six-figure corporate jobs (I did that too), spent a little time without goals
(I did that too – and now I’m questioning my ever-present lists – being goal-driven is a hard gig to give up!), and now live in smaller quarters with less stuff and love it (I dream of this too, but, am just attacking my office at this point). Daily Sightline did a great piece on the variety of small living options as well as their pros and cons.

If you’re in the Seattle area The Minimalists are going to be chatting it up in person on Thursday 10 January 2013 at 7:30 PM at the Town Hall Seattle (Downstairs) 1119 8th Ave. Seattle, WA 98101. You can still RSVP on their tour page.

This entry was posted in Recycling and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.