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Archive for February, 2009

Going green for Spring – time to clean out the home office.

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy announced last week that they are opening their free electronics recycling initiative to all of their nationwide stores. This was cause for joy in my household, where there are currently two out-of-date laptops, one dilapidated desktop and no fewer than four old cellphones lounging about taking up precious space. Did I mention this is a free service? There are a few notable exceptions to what they will accept (nothing with freon) and there is a $10 fee for monitors, TV’s and CRT’s. But they are offsetting that fee with $10 gift cards in exchange. Not too shabby!

Spring cleaning is almost upon us, so this is a great time to take an inventory of those old CE products you have that need to be recycled. Also, take a look into other options for recycling and additional resources for where you can drop off at www.MyGreenElectronics.org. This site also offers important advice on how to protect your privacy by deleting information off of your old hard drives and cellphones.

Here are a few other notable green campaigns to check out:

Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine Program (recycle cellphones and accessories for victims of domestic violence)

AT&T’s Cell Phones for Soldiers (turn your old cellphone into a prepaid phone for our troops overseas)

Apple & the Environment (iPod and cellphone recycling)

Listening in on teen safety – some food for thought.

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

This weekend presented a couple of interesting articles regarding teens and their habits for using MP3 players and cellphones. No surprise for any parent (or acquaintance for that matter), teens listen to their MP3 players louder than adults and are rarely using their cellphones to talk but rather to text. While these issues are not directly related to one another, it is always a good time to reflect on how our kids are using their electronics and how we can use these reflections to set boundaries for safe habits.

Time.com featured an article on CNN this morning about preventing hearing loss from MP3 players. While this article mentions the iPod specifically, I think it’s better to relate this to ALL MP3 players and personal music electronics, including cellphones – many of which are now being used in place of a separate MP3 player. The Consumer Electronics Association has a great reference guide for parents concerned about this issue at their site, DigitalTips.org, “The Safety of Your Ears is in Your Hands”.

The Washington Post ran a piece in the Sunday Technology section, “6,473 Texts a Month, But at What Cost?”, regarding a local mother and her surprise about the number of text messages her 15 year-old daughter sent and received. It used to be that parents would be taken by surprise at the physical cost associated with texting, not having an unlimited texting plan with their carrier. The concern in this article was related more to the potential toll of always trying to resolve life’s problems in 140 characters or less. As someone who, though not in the same demographic, also prefers to text over talk, this piece made me stop and think about my own habits. For some great information regarding wireless kid safety, check out these tips from CTIA – the Wireless Association. Food for thought!

Safe Eyes Mobile: Internet safety app for iPhone.

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Safe Eyes Mobile is a new product announced two weeks ago by InternetSafety.com of Atlanta, GA. It’s an internet safety tool for the iPhone. With the new Andriod app store on the horizon, it will be interesting to see more apps like this being developed!

More info about Safe Eyes Mobile is available at www.safeeyes.com/iphone.

GetGameSmart – A smart addition to the online safety community.

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

GetNetWise is a partner of the new GetGameSmart initiative from Microsoft – visit their website at http://www.getgamesmart.com/. We are thrilled to be apart of this much needed coalition to educate parents and caregivers about becoming more informed about what kids are watching, surfing and gaming.

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