via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/e7rivU
via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/e7rivU
This past Friday I went to a fundraiser Celebrity Chef event hosted by a friend and local Edmonton social media personality (and Bacon Guy) Jerry Aulenbach.
Held at a local premier burger restaurant, the evening was one of good food, good conversation, and a lot of glowing screens.
The restaurant had set aside a section for the fundraiser crew, complete with a laptop and projector.
Ok, so here’s the deal. You want a new computer, or iPad, or BluRay player or whatever. But your old one is still working perfectly fine. Yet, the features of your next technological acquisition are so good, so cool, that really, that new tech item will make your life much better.
Great, so you go out and get it, but what do you do with the old item?
And there’s the rub.
You’ve got the old tech, that still works and you’re comfortable with. And you’ve got your new tech that you’re learning and works and is Jobs-gift-to-humanity.
For me, there’s huge reluctance to get rid of the old stuff. Sure, it’s already been replaced by better stuff — but it still works! It can still do things. So here’s what I do:
1) Resell — this one is pretty obvious, but takes a bit of work. Listing on (competitor) or Kijjiji requires setting up an account and managing the process. If you’ve done everything right, you’ve got a buyer for your tech-stuff and you’re both happy.
Other alternatives that often work are pawn shops. If not, proceed to step 2.
2) Regift — it’s entirely possible you’ve got a very young neice or nephew that could use a ‘first’ computer. Once properly refurbished, your ‘gift’ could meet that need. Of course, you’ll be the first in line for hardware support, but isn’t that what being supportive in a family is all about?
3) Repurpose — Older computers still work well running older operating systems. Given your hardware won’t be your daily desktop box, nothing’s preventing you from giving it new life as a dedicated server, a home security system, or a media centre box.
4) Recycle — this one is actually my favourite. In Edmonton, we have local EcoStations that are set up to take our tech. As well, FutureShop has an amazing Electronics Take-Back program in Alberta and Ontario. What better way to keep your older tech out of the landfill and ensure it (or its component material) is being put back to work.
Obviously, this won’t work for every situation. For example, I’ve got a few old cell phones and PDAs gathering dust in my closet. I’ve not figured out nor taken time to determine the best ‘end’ for them, yet. Your mileage may vary…in fact, I hope it does! And I hope you share your best ‘tech recycle story below…because frankly, I could use a bit of help
Earlier this week I had great fun! CBC Edmonton’s Peter Brown (who regularly hosts the afternoon drive-time program Radio Active) interviewed me for a series on Edmonton bloggers and podcasters called E-Pinion.
We chatted about this blog, what got me into blogging, lifestyle technology etc. And I mentioned my Mom a couple of times too.
For your listening pleasure, here’s the interview.
The big snowstorm that hit Edmonton on December 4th and 5th was accompanied by rather high winds, which deposited and sculpted the snowdrifts in my yard. Interesting shapes resulted.
It’s all about me
My morning cup of coffee is not just a ritual, it’s essential. Over the years I’ve used percolators, drip machines, French Press devices and most recently, a Keruig K-Cup device. I enjoy grinding my own beans and experimenting with various roasts.
At the drive through
Also over the years, when I’ve missed my morning brew at home, I’ve had to spend time in the Tim Hortons drive through. This is bad from an vehicle idling perspective…I’m trying to reduce this.
In my perk, drip, carafe days, I used to make a full pot of coffee in the morning. This would occasionally be shared with my wife, and the remainder dumped into a thermos and taken to work and either consumed or thrown out at the end of the day.
I felt like I was saving money (not buying a fresh coffee) and not wasting the morning leftovers. Sure, it had continued stewing in the thermos for a few hours until I drank it, and it was more bitter then, but it was drinkable. Just not a good cup of Joe.
Of course, now I had to wash both my travel mug, my thermos, and the coffee brew pot / carafe. I was not happy with the water wasted on cleaning.
Single cup solution
My experimentation in grinding also produced inconsistent results. Often we weren’t pleased with the results.
So we invested in a more consistent coffee solution by picking up a K-Cup machine. For me, this makes sense in so many ways:
But, you may say, I’m increasing my impact buy increasing the amount of packaging produced and discarded for each cup I consume.
That is true, but we’ve taken some steps to even reduce that impact. You see, Edmonton (the city I live in) has a world-class recycling facility. They handle an amazing amount of recyclable material. And with a little bit of extra work, we’re able to break down those K-cups into materials that can (I believe) be safely recycled.
The K-cup consists of four components and it’s a simple matter to reduce the cup to its components for appropriate handling:
Reusing the K-cup
Of course, the best solution for me is the Keurig My K-Cup Reusable Coffee Filter. It’s a mini-filter basket that sits inside a holder. Simply place your own ground coffee inside and viola, a fresh cup of coffee in a minute or so. Nothing to discard and easy to wash. And aside from initial production inputs, no real impact aside from cleaning.
Ok, enough about me and my quest to achieve my perfect (and climate friendly) brew. Time for your thoughts.
Is this a minor step? Perhaps a very small step, and does it matter? I think so, but then, I’m not really in a position to judge. I’m just one small consumer that’s trying to help out in my own small way. How ’bout you?
It’s been said that the best camera is the one you have with you — heck it’s even the title of a book on iPhone photography.
Which makes sense, because you can easily stumble across a nifty scene, as I did here, and not be able to capture it if you don’t have a camera with you.
True, the scene didn’t exactly look like that. I did enhance the dramatic using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2, to pretty good effect, I think.
But back to the point, carrying a camera with you will enable you to catch these unexpected scenes, and then take them back to your digital darkroom and explore the artistic possibilities.