Tuesday, December 14, 2010

EPR as a Consideration in Holiday Shopping

By Stephanie Welsh, PPI's social media maven, mom of 3, and crazed holiday shopper

As holiday shoppers rush to and fro, a growing number of people are adding a new criteria to their decision-making when they make purchases.  Are people thinking about Extended Producer Responsibility when they make a purchase?  Not in such a formal way, but in many other smaller ways that add up.
Let's face it, it's a hectic time of year and the added pressure of figuring out how to make environmentally educated and responsible purchases can make a person slightly crazy.  But consider this, we know that consumers wield considerable power with their checkbooks and credit cards.  This is an incredible time of year to exercise that power.
Here are a few things we're doing to get into the "green" spirit this season:
  • Waterfalling old electronics to kids rather than buying new.
  • Reading the recycling report card to figure out which manufacturers get the good grades before buying any electronics.
  • Taking re-usable shopping bags to the mall as well as the grocery store.
  • Considering packaging when making a purchase (all else being equal, which product has less packaging or packaging that can be recycled?).

Read through some of the information below and see if you can make a small change, or a big one, this buying season that will help send the message of EPR.

New electronics are hot sellers around the holidays, but commentary like that in The Story of Electronics by Annie Leonard is making people think about whether they actually need that next gadget right now.

Bloggers are talking about e-waste and where the electronics we dispose of really end up.

The Electronics TakeBack Coalition publishes a report card(http://www.electronicstakeback.com/hold-manufacturers-accountable/recycling-report-card/) for electronics manufacturers so consumers can see which companies are working on responsible recycling.

Beth Terry, creator of Fake Plastic Fish, blogs about reducing plastic from our lives and works on campaigns to get companies to take back their products at the end of life.

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