It’s easy even for a greenie to get caught up in the shiny pretty world of tech gadgetry goodness and not think about what happens to your old laptop after you’ve upgraded to a new one.  The ugly truth is it probably ended up in a landfill. The U.S. EPA reports that in 2007, 157 million computer products were discarded (CPUs, monitors, notebooks, keyboards, mice, printers, faxes, and copiers). Only 18% were recycled. Worse yet, only 10% of cell phones were recycled. Considering how dependent we’re becoming on technology and how often we replace it, e waste is a growing problem.

Consumer awareness is a crucial step in solving the issue and so is corporate social responsibility which is  why I was excited to see this storefront recently at a Sony Style store in San Diego. Of course I had to check it out. Yep, modern green fonts get me every time. I discovered that Sony has launched a new electronics recycling program called EcoTrade.  Products eligible for recycling include laptops, cameras, camcorders, digital books, game systems, MP3 players and mobile phones.  Two things make this a really cool program:

1. They accept Sony and non-Sony products.

2. You receive credit to use toward the purchase of a new Sony product.

3. You receive credit to use toward the purchase of a new Sony product. Thought that deserved to be written 2x. Hello! They are giving you money!

By the way, if you’re in the market for a new laptop, I recommend the VAIO W series made partially from recycled CDs cuz that’s just crazy cool. Turns out Sony has a long history of environmental initiatives. The Sony Take Back Recycling Program was the first national recycling initiative to involve both a major electronics manufacturer and a national waste management company. On their green website, Sony’s stated goal is to collect a pound of electronics for every pound it produces. They’ve collected 27.1 million pounds so far.  They also have a goal to reach a zero environmental footprint by 2050. I like a company with a plan. Definitely makes me feel better about replacing my clunker of a laptop!