Monday, April 6, 2015


Every week, I teach over 650 elementary students various computer skills from the basics to coding. I am also covering the issue of electronic waste (e-waste) this year. And I wonder, how many of you out there are aware of the problem of e-waste?

Technology is growing at incredible rates. It seems that every couple of months, they've created a newer, faster, more aesthetically pleasing device that we cannot live without.

How many times do you upgrade your cell phone? Your laptop? Your tablet? Do you own every single piece of technology that you can afford?

Do you know what happens with the electronic devices that you grow tired of or that are no longer functional?

Here are the three videos that I am showing to my 3rd-5th grade students. K-2 are seeing shortened versions. Not one single student has shown a lack of interest. Or shock.

The videos aren't that long. However, if you do not want to take the time to watch or to research on your own, let me point out just a couple of important facts:

  • Recycling centers that are not certified have no restrictions on how or where they recycle our e-waste. They tend to send it to developing countries where the environment is being destroyed as well as the health of many children and women.
  • If you think you have erased your information from your computers, you are wrong. Organized crime can EASILY access ALL OF YOUR INFORMATION from your hard drive. TAKE YOUR HARD DRIVE OUT AND DESTROY IT. 
  • It is VITAL that we EDUCATE OURSELVES to the issue of e-waste. 

Information from the EPA is located HERE
When you recycle your e-waste, there are two (that I know of) certifications that you should look for: R2 and e-Stewards.

Find an e-steward recycler near you HERE.
Find an R2 recycler near you HERE and HERE.
Search SERI (Sustainable Electronic Recycling International) HERE.

I hope your state is more concerned than mine- SC. I have contacted the two state representatives who sponsored legislation that concerns only manufacturers of electronics asking them about future legislation concerning recycling centers. That was over one month ago. I have yet to hear back from them.

Are you from SC, too? Go HERE.

The NCSL information is HERE and gives some good information about the states that do have laws of some sort regarding e-waste recycling.

Become an e-Stewards Envoy HERE.

PLEASE, educate yourselves about this most important issue.

This is Day 5 of the A-Z Challenge!


  1. NY has strict laws on everything here, some laws are good, some are not. ANYWAYS---great topic. Thanks for sharing. (ps I can tell you, that the college students could careless about the environment, politics and so on, their more concerned with drinking, partying, socializing issues)--oh wait, that is another subject, wink. Blessings

  2. I keep thinking that, since we don't have good laws about this, perhaps our powers that be on in on the greed part of e-waste recycling. Now I wonder if they're just all of the college student mentality. LOL Thanks!

  3. Organized crime aren't the only ones who can access our computers and phones. NSA is big on keeping all our information as well. I watched the videos. I think for most kids in this country, what they see on the video might as well be on Pluto. They simply cannot relate to anything remotely like what they are seeing there. Kids here don't realize how most of the world lives. It's a good thing you're bringing it to their attention, and I hope that someday some of them will be able to actually visit a third-world country and get a reality check. Good post, Pam.

    1. I keep telling my kids that they are the ones who need to make the difference when they grow up. And they are adamant about taking action, which we are doing. This truly turned into way more than a simple lesson in e-Waste.

  4. Excellent advice!! Thank you for posting about this important subject.

    1. Thank you! I have learned so much myself! And it really needs to get out there.

  5. Fascinating! I hadn't really thought about it that much, though I don't tend to blow through electronics the way that many folks do. I usually just donate my phones to women's shelters..
    ~AJ Lauer
    an A-Z Cohost
    @ayjaylauer on Twitter

    1. That's another really good idea. Just make sure you remove anything that holds memory before you donate. I showed the kids how some of the phones their parents sent in still have information and pictures on them. They were shocked!

  6. Here if you want to you can take your old computer, tablet or phone into certain stores and they will dispose of it for you so you are not just throwing it in the bin which I know is not the best thing to do

    1. You can do that here, in our town, at Staples. They recycle using an e-steward recycling center. Otherwise, there's nothing that is certified in the recycling of e-waste.

  7. Interesting post. I still have my iPhone 3G and use it here in Ecuador. Hubby has an iPhone 4S and doesn't plan to upgrade any time soon. We did move from PCs (laptops) to MacBook Pros last July but we always find new homes for our old laptops. One of them went to a local Ecuadorian family, a single mother with two teenage children. They were thrilled and we know it will be used for years. In Ecuador there are no thrift shops, everything get used, re-used and recycled until it is no more.

    DB McNicol, author

    1. It's nice to be able to hand down electronics that will be appreciated and used well. Here, people throw stuff away just because they're tired of it. We've got to get a handle on recycling e-waste appropriately or we're really going to be in a mess.


Welcome, friends! Please spew forth some wisdom for me. I'm quite certain I need it!