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We here at Santa Barbara Stone Masters love giving you tips for better, more sustainable living.

Sprinkled throughout our musings about natural stone and all of its wonderful aspects, you can find quality entries about sustainability from great, general eco-friendly tips, to how to have a sustainable Valentines Day.

Today I want to focus a little bit more on living sustainably with our electronics.

We’ve previously touched on how to sustainably manage electronics in another excellent blog of ours, but I’d like to take the opportunity to explore that in a little bit greater depth.

Heaven knows there’s no end to the efforts we could make to preserve our planet, and that’s especially true about our relationships to electronics!

Needs vs. Wants

These days, it seems as though every year there is a newer, “better” version of phone, computer, or video game console. And every year I am baffled as I see members of my community line up around the block to be the first to get the next best thing; the same people, by the way, who stood in line last year!

But our electronics are far from obsolete after a year – in fact, I’ve had my phone for going on six years now, and it is as useful to me as it was the day I purchased it! It calls to question the idea of wants versus needs – we don’t NEED a new phone a year after we’ve purchased it, we only WANT the feeling of having a new toy to play with.

Meanwhile, you’ve become responsible for all of the energy and waste that went into manufacturing, packaging, and shipping your new toy, and you haven’t even worked the mileage off of your perfectly good, one-year-old device!

So before you buy, take a moment to consider what the consequences are of indulging in that new toy, and if it is something you really NEED, or if it is something you merely WANT.


Suppose the time is right for a new device; maybe your current computer can no longer handle what you demand of it day after day.

Don’t just let your old machine sit at the bottom of a drawer or ship off to a landfill! After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Consider donating devices you no longer need or have use for. Your device may no longer serve your needs, but I’d bet my bottom dollar that it would be a blessing in the life of a person less fortunate than you!

It just might be the leg up they need to kickstart their life, and it helps in preventing toxic waste!

Certified recyclers

But maybe, just maybe, you’ve squeezed all of the life out of that device. It is impossibly slow, it doesn’t hold a charge for longer than an hour, and it freezes up on you at seemingly random intervals. It isn’t suitable for you, it isn’t suitable for anyone!

Well, don’t just dump it! Consider looking into participants of the Sustainable Materials Management Electronics challenge, which encourages manufacturers and retailers to send 100% of the used electronics they collect from the public to certified electronics refurbishers and recyclers.

It’s a great way of ensuring that your obsolete, unusable electronics don’t just take up space in a landfill, but get recycled in an efficient, sustainable manner!

Thanks as always for tuning in to our humble blog. How do you practice sustainability in your life? We’d love to hear about it!

And if you’re in the Santa Barbara area and need professional help managing your natural stone, give us a call today!  We’d love to be of service.

Skip Jankoski

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