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Go Green! Tell Us How You’ll Celebrate Earth Day

How will you celebrate Earth Day this year?  Here’s what we’re doing at GAF.  Each year our GAF Earth Day celebration gets better and better. One of the things we’ve always focused on is the collection of electronic waste. E-waste, as it’s becoming known, is a growing problem as old gadgets such as MP3 players, cell phones, and the f cords and cables that go with them fill our junk drawers. These products can contain hazardous materials and heavy metals such as cadmium, lithium, gold, and copper, and should not be thrown in the trash.

With the inevitable upgrade of electronics, these obsolete items and the materials that are contained in them need to go somewhere. Unfortunately, most of it is not recycled properly. The estimated rate of electronic waste collection is as low as 1% – so this work is important. Plus, I often state when talking about recycling that I tend to favor recycling systems that capture economic value (meaning they occur whether or not someone blogs about them, because there’s money to be made). When done right, that’s true of asphalt shingle recycling, as well as of e-waste recycling, because the copper, gold, and other metals that come out of the materials can be reused.

At the same time, it can be difficult to find the proper place to take that old printer, computer, TV, or phone for recycling. Many electronics stores offer such a service. This year, as part of GAF’s Earth Day celebration,  we’ll be aggressive about offering this popular feature  as a way to promote awareness and give  our employees an opportunity to recycle e-waste responsibly.

Also this year, GAF has formalized its relationship with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ with an annual sponsorship. Features of the event will be a visit from a feathered guest – either an owl or a hawk – from the Raptor Trust and a children’s Earth Day poster contest. We’ll also give out reusable shopping bags and have a table featuring our sustainability efforts.

How will you celebrate Earth Day at your company?  Share your efforts in the comments below.

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