April 22nd is Earth Day, what is your business doing to protect the environment?

Why Earth Day is Important?

There are all kinds of threats to the Earth’s environment. Forests get cut down to make room for more homes and businesses. Pesticides and other pollutants get tossed out alongside regular garbage and end up in landfills or get poured down drains that eventually empty into the very rivers that provide us with drinking water. Exhausts from cars and smoke coming from factory smoke stacks pollute the air we breathe. With all that going on, it might make one wonder:  What’s the big deal about throwing away a computer or cell phone?

When you consider how many people live on this planet, then consider how many of them own computers and smartphones, then you start to see why throwing away a computer or cell phone is a big deal. That’s why it’s so important for managed services providers (MSP) to take advantage of the opportunity that Earth Day, Apr. 22, 2012, provides to encourage their clients, vendors and partners to start doing their part to protect the Earth by recycling unwanted computers, cell phones and other electronic devices instead of throwing them away.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 2.37 million short tons of electronic products, including computers and cell phones, reached the “ready for end-of-life management” stage in 2009. Only 25% of those devices were collected for recycling.

DeAnne Merey, president and founder of DM Public Relations, strongly advocates recycling old or unwanted electronic devices because “a lot of electronic waste finds its way to landfills, which become toxic waste dumps that poison our drinking water, soil and air. Just about every electronic appliance or device manufactured today has a printed circuit board that contains lead,” said Merey.

“These products can easily be brought to a reputable recycler.  All plastic, metal, and glass can be reused, salvaging natural resources, protecting the environment, creating jobs and reducing energy use.  E-waste that is properly recycled immediately improves our economy, environment, and public health, and these benefits will be experienced by many generations to come,” she added.

There are other ways that people can protect the Earth besides recycling. It may seem self-serving for an MSP to recommend virtualization as one of many ways for a client to do his part to protect the environment, but virtualization is indeed an eco-friendly way to do business. Servers use a lot of energy, so a small-business owner’s decision to use virtualization is similar to a commuter’s decision to use public transportation or join a car pool instead of driving himself to work. He saves himself money and aggravation while doing his part to reduce his own carbon footprint.

For those who advocate recycling and other green practices, every day is Earth Day. For everyone else, Earth Day is a day to learn about and understand how much damage we do not only to the environment but also to ourselves when we carelessly throw away toxin-filled electronics that could just as easily be taken to a recycling center. But let’s face it, people like convenience. So, one way that managed services providers can show their community spirit and environmental consciousness is by having regular “recycling days” where they accept old computers and other electronic devices from people in their neighborhoods and then take those devices to recycling centers themselves. This provides area residents with the convenience they love while giving the MSPs some much-needed exposure to potential clients.

You can learn more about recycling and other eco-friendly practices here.

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