Computer screens, cell phones and microwave ovens contain all sorts of toxic elements that it’s best not to put them in a hole in the ground when they’re no longer of use. But, the reality is most of these items are carted away and put in landfills. In fact, an estimated 70% of toxic landfill waste is a direct result of technology. NBC Universal used Earth Week (April 21-25) to spur homeowners to recycle these items.
Its “Green is Universal” campaign kicked off on the Today Show on April 21. HP, Staples, the Environmental Media Association and Electronic Recyclers International (ERI) partnered for the event. Part of the push involved placing recycling bins, where consumers could place old electronics, at New York’s Rockefeller Center. In the New York area, consumers were invited to also bring their old equipment to participating Staples stores. HP offered $50 off its more energy-efficient printers and $150 off select computers in exchange for old models.
At Rockefeller Center, New York School of Visual Arts students were invited to create a giant mosaic using the donated products. ERI handed out “Green is Universal” T-shirts at the event. The brand typically provides eco-friendly shirts that say “Green is Good,” but it altered its tagline in honor of the event. ERI owns 1-800-Recycling (a service people can call for free to find out how to properly dispose of their electronics and other items).
“With us, it’s all about being in touch with our green DNA and spreading the word in as many positive far-reaching ways as possible,” said John S. Shegerian, ERI’s chairman and CEO. “So whether we are appearing at a local high school or on the Today Show, we make it a point to come armed with meaningful takeaways that inspire, empower and motivate people to think about the green messages we shared.”
In addition to shirts, ERI hands out logoed tins of chocolate-covered raisins that were grown on organic farms. Its business cards are even printed on recycled paper using soy ink. Shegerian said, “Everything we share is part of our message.”