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25 Things Geeks Can Go Green (Part 2)

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6. Donate Your Cell Phone to give a lifeline to somebody else: So many people run out to get the latest iPhone, Palm Pre, or Android smartphone that most old fashioned cell phones end up collecting dust in drawers everywhere. Those old cell phones can be put

back into use by donating them to charitable organizations that activate them on pre-paid accounts for women in shelters escaping abusive relationships. Even phones that cannot be reactivated because they use older analog or TDMA technologies will still be accepted with open arms because these older phones are sold to electronics recycling companies with the revenues generated goes to buying minutes for pre-paid cell phone accounts for the recipients of the phones.

7. Give Me LED With My LCD: LCD flat panel TV's were originally sold with the promise that the would be more energy efficient than plasma TV's as the demand for greater contrast ratio grew so did the back light systems and the promise of energy efficient big screen flat panel TV slipped away. Cold cathode florescent tubes have traditionally provided the back light used in LCD TV's, the brighter the backlight required for higher contrast ratios required consumes more energy. Newer LCD TV's have replaced the cold cathode florescent backlighing with backlighting that uses LED's. LED backlight is not just more energy efficient but also extends the contrast ration by enhancing dark shades because the LED's can be turned down or even turned off entirely. Right now LED backlit LCD TV's current occupy the high end of the LCD TV market but that will change as the cost of manufacturing comes down in the next couple of years.

7. Hack Your iPod to Give It A New Lease On Life: While Apple releases brand new iPods just before the Christmas shopping season many iPod users may never even want the newest features that the latest generations offer. Some people just play music on their iPods. For those who are happy with their iPods the way they got them, have to say goodbye even if they don't want to. There is a small industry in replacement parts for iPods, While Apple is criticized for not making the batteries user replaceable, there are replacement batteries for just about every iPod that Apple has ever made. For those iPods that maybe headed to the landfill because of a drive error there are replacement drives available too. For some that are looking to buy an iPod with a larger capacity upgrading an existing iPod using an off the shelf hard drive is a more economical more environmentally friendly option to replacement. The iPod mini uses a drive mechanism called a microdrive which looks almost exactly like a compact flash card, exactly the same size as a compact flash card, the same drive drive interface as a compact flash card. Any second generation iPod mini will accept any compact flash card as a replacement to the microdrive that came in the iPod mini. Before undertaking any hack to repair or upgrade an iPod the proper pry tools are needed to avoid damaging the iPod. With a little knowledge a few tools and parts to upgrade or fix iPods can save those players that people love so much from a one trip to the landfill.

8. Be a Telecommuter: Many in today's workforce spend their days typing on computers, most large corporations and many government agencies are letting their cubicle bound keyboard punchers work from home. There are many advantages for both companies and employees to working from home. Word processing documents, spreadsheets and presentations are worked on at employees' homes are put back into workplace using secure online networks. Virtual collaboration and business meetings happen all online between telecommuters and their workplaces. Corporate employees don't have to spend hours a week in their cars commuting. This is not only where the environment wins, but telecommuters win too from by giving back time for both family and job commitments. Working from home is gaining acceptance with small companies as well as the major corporations. Still there are employers that are doubtful about telecommuting. There are concerns about employee productivity and the security of sensitive company data. Many companies that allow telecommuting have reported gains in productivity, and most companies have very high security standards within their company networks, telecommuting employee's home computers have to meet certain security standards as well. If your company isn't allowing telecommuting yet then push management to consider allowing telecommuting.

9. Before You Recycle, Freecycle: Recycling has been the most popular way to divert waste from hitting landfills, but in the three 'R' many lose sight of reuse and reduce which are just as important if not more so than recycling. Recycling waste into new products requires using energy. One way of both reducing and recycling that has been increasing in recent years is the Freecycle movement. Items no that are no longer wanted are posted on the mailing list found at People looking for items check the list and contact the person offering the item and arrange a pick up or a delivery. Freecycling enables reuse items that would have normally been discarded and reducing purchases of new items.

10. Flip The Virtual Pages of an E-Book: Electronic book readers have been around for much of the past decade, but it's has been in the past couple of years that the Amazon Kindle brought legitimacy to reading on an electronic device. Subscriptions to hundreds of newspapers and magazines already available on E-Book readers. Most E-book readers include a web browser and a blog reader to extend the capabilities of e-book reading devices even further. Using cell phone carrier data networks to buy e-books onto readers has made getting books to read more convenient. The benefits of e-books don't end at convenience, if the thousands of owners of e-book readers only have a few books on the go at any given time, the environmental benefit of saving trees from becoming old-fashioned paper books will be great.

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