Thursday, June 19, 2008

Don't pitch that PC!

In today’s disposable age, most people are used to replacing their computers every few years. But the times they are a-changin’ and with the rising cost of gas, food, and just about everything else, it’s necessary for us to take a step back and reevaluate that new PC purchase.

It’s not just rising costs that we need to consider. It’s also the toll we take on our lovely planet when we discard those tired computers. According to the EPA, Americans tossed an estimated 1.5 MILLION TONS of computers, TVs, scanners, printers, fax machines, and cell phones into the trash in 2005. Now that’s a lot of eWaste.

Before you pitch (or donate) your computer for a shiny new one, check out these six easy tips to revitalize your PC and keep it running smoothly for a few more years.

1. Add more RAM to your computer to make it faster. Today's memory-hungry software makes upgrading your computer's RAM a necessity. View this quick tutorial to learn how easy it is to upgrade your RAM.

2. Remove unnecessary files from your computer. Be sure to empty your recycle bin on a regular basis. Delete cookies, cache files, Internet history, and temp files from your computer. These are all taking up valuable space on your hard drive and removing them will help you improve your PC performance.

3. If you are a Windows user, you should defrag your computer on a regular basis. The easiest way to defrag your computer is to use a registry cleaner, such as PC Tune-Up. You don’t have to be a computer wiz to use this program – it even has a “Magic Button” that will do all the work for you.

4. Dust and dirt block cooling fans and vents, which cause overheating. Remove dust from your keyboard, mouse, screen, and PC unit with a can of compressed air. Use a vacuum to remove dust from inside the case.

5. Keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware protection up to date. Viruses and spyware are malicious and in addition to slowing your computer to a mind-numbing crawl, they can also steal your confidential information.

6. Cigarette smoke residue corrodes the metal contacts and delicate circuits of your computer. As a result, your computer will run slower, freeze, and crash. If you don’t smoke, congrats! If you do smoke, keep your butts away from your PC.

If you’ve tried all of this and you are still ready to buy a new computer, please dispose of your old one responsibly. The EPA has a list of places where you can donate or recycle your computer and other electronics.


Anonymous said...

A great eWaste recycling center for San Francisco & Silicon Valley peeps:

Julie C. said...

I just learned that some local Goodwill locations train workers to refurbish computer equipment and resell the systems. Keeps the disadvantaged working, the eWaste out of our landfills, and the economy pumping. Love it.