Friday, August 29, 2014
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What happens to your TV on Feb. 17th?

If you can't get a converter box right away, you may be tempted (and is this the idea?) to buy a brand new digital TV, which makes your analog one obsolete. So then what? Gonna toss it in the trash, or leave it by the side of the road? No, that's the kind of thinking that got us into this mess.

What happens to your TV on Feb. 17th?

So, despite the urging of the Obama administration and the fact that the government program is out of converter-box coupons, it's looking like the Feb. 17th deadline is still operative for the Big Digital Switchover.

If you can't get a converter box right away, you may be tempted (and is this the idea?) to buy a brand new digital TV, which makes your analog one obsolete. So then what? Gonna toss it in the trash, or leave it by the side of the road?

No, that's the kind of thinking that got us into this mess. (I'm sure if all those people at the beginning of SCTV knew how bad things were gonna get, they would never have carelessly tossed their TVs out their windows like that.)

You can take your set to an electronics recycler, but here's another layer of difficulty - some of these recyclers just take the precious metals they want and then toss the rest in a landfill. Others send the whole set overseas to have the potentially toxic parts disassembled where health regulations are weak to nonexistent.

One solution is to only take your TV or computer to a certified recycler who has signed the Pledge of True Stewardship, as explained by the Electronics Take-Back Coalition. This way you can be confident your set is leaving as small a footprint as possible.

So far, though, this ambitious program has collected few enough pledges that it's a little hard to find one of these responsible recyclers. Using the Take-Back coalition's map, it looks like the three options in PA are all further away than Baltimore, making the latter a better bet (NJ and DE so far have none). But are you really going to drive your old TV set to Baltimore?

Realistically, certifying recyclers' adherence to responsible policies is something the government should be doing, to make this a reasonable option. What's that? Who in government is gonna have time to do that? Simple: The thousands of employees hired for the task as part of the revised economic stimulus package!

It could work, and people could work. TV gone, planet saved. Good night and good luck!

About this blog
Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to energy@phillynews.com.


Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.


Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.


Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.


Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.


Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...


Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.


Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.


Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.


In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man





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