Tips for Recycling Your Old Electronics

Take a moment to think about all of the electronic devices you use on a daily basis, from mobile gadgets like your smartphone, tablet, MP3 player, or handheld GPS to household items like the television, cable box, DVD player, stereo, and computer. There are many more, but these are a few of the most popular products found in the average modern household. Now think about how many millions (or even billions) of homes around the world use such devices. And finally, consider how often you replace these electronics with newer, better versions. You might replace your cell phone every couple of years, upgrade your computer every 5, and go for a flatter, lighter television every 5-10 years. And if the majority of households follow this pattern, you can only imagine the amount of e-waste leaving homes each year.

However, there is a solution that will keep these used products out of some landfill in China, where they will slowly decompose (or worse, get crushed and burned), spewing their hazardous contents into the atmosphere. In case you didn’t know, many electronics contain harmful heavy metals (like lead) and other poisonous materials (like mercury), which means it is actually illegal to throw them away in most places.

Luckily, there are programs in place to help you recycle your used electronics. If they are not in working order, your best bet is to get them to someone that can properly disassemble them to recycle their many parts. Many manufacturers will take back old products for recycling purposes, so you might want to start by contacting Sony, Apple, or whichever company made your device. Many retailers (like Best Buy and Staples) also have recycling programs, and most phone carriers will take back old handsets and refurbish them for donation (or at least dispose of them properly).

Otherwise you can simply call your waste disposal service to arrange for a special pickup. Unfortunately, many trash companies will charge you extra to haul away your hazardous materials, but you may save some money by inquiring about free pickup options. Some service providers offer one such service free each year to all customers while others host annual pickup or drop-off days that are free as a way to encourage recycling. Either way you may be able to pawn off these items without cost simply by asking (or waiting).

Of course, you might want to get something more out of the deal, and if you choose to sell or donate used electronics that are still working you might just come out ahead. Think about listing items on Craigslist or some other classified site, or simply wait until you host your annual garage sale to put them out. It might not net you enough money to upgrade to a better cable package or the best broadband service, but it could definitely put a few bucks in your pocket. And should you opt to donate these products to a charitable cause you should certainly get a receipt so you can write off the donation on your taxes.

This dip courtesy of celebrity chef Todd English is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next barbecue!

Fire-Roasted Eggplant Dip

Ingredients

Eggplant, 2 medium halved lengthwise
Olive oil, ¼ cup divided
Garlic, 3 large cloves halved
Fresh lemon juice, 2 Tbsp.
Tahini, 2 Tbsp.
Kosher salt, ¾ tsp.
Freshly ground black pepper, 1/8 tsp.
Pita chips

Garnish: chopped parsley

Preparation

1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees to 400 degrees (medium high) heat. Brush eggplant halves on all sides with 1 Tbsp. oil. Grill, covered with grill lid, 17 minutes or until tender, turning after 10 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle.

2. With food processor running, drop garlic through food chute; process until minced. Scoop pulp from eggplant halves, discarding skins; add to garlic. Add lemon juice and next 3 ingredients; process until smooth. With processor running, pour remaining oil in a thin stream through food chute. Process until combined. Serve with pita chips. Garnish, if desired.

Makes 2 cups.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Todd English, celebrity chef, restaurateur, and entrepreneur. This delightful recipe is from his newest cookbook, Cooking in Everyday English.*

Are you an expectant or new mom who wants to get back in shape after baby? Below are 5 “get fit tips” that new moms can do to get back in shape – without starving themselves, spending a lot of money, or driving themselves crazy!

Get Fit Tips for New Moms

1. Acknowledge that your body has been through a major change.

As with anything worth doing, getting started on the way to post-pregnancy fitness involves acknowledging the fact that your body has changed in ways that are less appealing. This is perfectly fine, and it is something that every new mom (including celebrities) has had to go through. That being said, look your body over in the mirror and try to be as objective as possible about your appearance.

2. Make time to be active.

If you wait around until you have the time to start getting active, chances are you will never be. You need to make time whenever possible. Sure, it can be rather exhausting to take care of your baby, the house, and job all at the same time but getting fit will really make a difference in how you feel about yourself. Being active does not necessarily entail going to the gym—even short bursts of exercises can add up to a lot throughout the day. Do 20 lunges while waiting for the laundry to finish, or get onto a bike and take your baby for a pleasant ride during the cooler hours of the day.

3. Stop eating for two.

When you were pregnant, you probably indulged yourself with desserts and other sinful treats more often than you did before. If so, you have to start watching what you eat more carefully. Eating healthy does not always mean depriving yourself; it only means making better choices and knowing when to stop. For instance, have ice cream after dinner but watch your portions.

4. Don’t try to do everything at once.

Yes, easier said than done but this is important. For new moms, it is very easy to feel like you have to take charge of everything. Accept that with a new baby in the house, you simply won’t be able to clean the house as completely as you did before. Prioritize so that you cover all the basics and get enough rest. We are more likely to eat when stressed, which makes us feel crappy, and so we eat more. Stop the cycle.

5. Shop for a new wardrobe.

Yes, give yourself permission to shop! Why try to squeeze into your old jeans or wear maternity pants when no longer pregnant? Both will make your feel worse about yourself. Instead, buy a few key pieces of clothes that flatter and fit your new body. Go on, you deserve it!

About the Author

Chrystal is a writer for MattressNextDay, the top online retailer for beds, mattresses and other sleeping needs in the UK. As a mom to an active toddler, she credits daily playtime with losing a total of 30 pounds to date.

*Image: Andy Newson / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Grilled Dessert

Ingredients

1 20 ounce can Pineapple Chunks in Pineapple Juice
3 bananas
1 lemon
7 skewers
Cinnamon (optional)

Preparation

Drain pineapple and slice bananas into small pieces (the same size as the pineapple). Stick pieces onto skewers and place on a plate. Squeeze lemon juice over the sticks, cover, and store in refrigerator until ready to grill.

Grill at medium heat, turning every 2 minutes until slightly charred (5-7 minutes). Dust with cinnamon and enjoy! Can be served hot or room temperature.

Makes 7 skewers.

For one skewer: 85 calories, 0.2 g fat, 22.2 g carbohydrates, 0.6 g protein, 2.0 g fiber, 7 mg sodium, 0 Points Plus

*Recipe and image courtesy of Lisa Cain, Ph.D. Lisa writes about healthy snacks on Snack-Girl.com. She
is a published author, mother of two, and avid snacker.*

Hip Health Swaddling Tips

Dr. Charles Price, pediatric orthopedist at the Winnie and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and director of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, has reported a direct connection between incorrect swaddling and hip dysplasia. “Swaddling an infant has many positive effects such calming a crying baby and soothing pain in infants. Unfortunately many parents are taught to swaddle the baby’s entire body to create a tight cocoon, and this restriction of movement in the lower half of the body can lead to post-natal hip dysplasia.”

Hip dysplasia is the most common infant abnormality and results when the top of the femur (leg bone) is not properly located in the hip socket or is loose in the hip socket. The condition is most common in breech birth babies, first born girls and when there is a genetic predisposition (family history). If diagnosed early and with proper care, this condition can usually be reversed. Recently, however, it has been discovered that infants whose hips were normal at birth are developing hip dysplasia in the early months, and this may be due to improper swaddling. Improper swaddling has been associated with hip dysplasia in specific cultures worldwide where tight swaddling is the norm. The condition often goes undiagnosed and leads to early onset of adult arthritis of the hips with hip replacement at a young age.

Dr. Price offers these hip healthy swaddling tips to help avoid hip dysplasia:

• If using a blanket, wrap firmly around the arms but loosely around the legs so the hips can move freely.
• When swaddling baby, avoid stretching the legs out straight or pressing them together.
• Encourage baby’s hips to be spread and bent as if riding on a horse. (When carrying baby, wrap his legs around your body for proper hip development.)
• Consider using a sleepsack product with a roomy bottom such as the Halo SleepSack Swaddle which is a fool proof way to swaddle baby in a hip healthy manner.

For additional information, visit hipdysplasia.org.

It is simple to make a lovely punch to serve with dinner or at an afernoon soiree with Eppa Superfruit Red Sangria! Eppa Sangria is a beverage that saves time and money on purchasing and chopping fruit – Eppa is infused with natural fruit juices including of several fruits or purchasing endless from pomegranate, Mediterranean blood oranges to acai berries and blueberries. Certified organic and chock full of rich antioxidants, this is a bottle of sangria that is easy on your wallet and the waistline!

Eppa Punch

Ingredients

1 bottle Eppa Superfruit Red Sangria
1 green apple
Cranberries
Oranges, cinnamon sticks (optional)

Preparation

Chop apples and cranberries and pour mixture into a decanter with 1 bottle of Eppa Sangria. Allow blend to sitin the fridge for an hour to chill and flavors to mesh. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

*Recipe and image courtesy of Eppa Sangria.*

Whisk your child away on a magical adventure on the back of a dragon or unicorn to a wonder-filled kingdom to celebrate his or her birthday! Your leading lady will love being crowned the royal princess while your little man will enjoy being a royal knight! This lovely new addition to the I See Me! Personalized Books series is filled with gorgeous illustrations that seem mystical and lend a fairy tale quality to the pages. “Mom” especially enjoyed not only personalizing the book throughout with her daughter’s name, but placing all of the names of the important people in her daughter’s life on the guest invitation inside the book. What an extra-special touch!

This is truly one of the best personalized books that I See Me! has created to date and it will definitely become a family favorite in “Mom’s” house. The illustrations alone are fabulous, and little ones will love seeing their name throughout the pages of the book.

 

To learn more about I See Me! Personalized Books, or to order a wonderfully unique gift for a special child in your life, please visit ISeeMe.com.

*Company generously provided a review copy and images for this piece.*

Finding the Perfect Eco-Chic Beach Chair

Looking for a way to relax in the summer? How about a picnic trip to the beach? Grab your bathing suit, sunglasses, and suntan lotion as well as some picnic essentials. Even though you are heading to the beach, it is possible to use and think of supplies that you can find that will be eco-friendly. For example, find a beach chair that’s made out of recycled materials and remember to recycle your plastic bottles if you bring water to the beach!

Lightweight and Durable Beach Chairs

Consider finding a chair that is made of lightweight recycled materials with a durable frame so it folds up for easy portability. If the chair has a wide seat, multiple back positions, an integrated cup-holder in the right arm rest, and a pillow, you’ll have a relaxing time sitting in your new chair. A chair that folds up and has backpack straps will also be helpful because it will leave your hands free to carry your other picnic items! Not to mention it will be easier for you to hold everything as you walk to the recycling bin where you can recycle the materials that you brought to the beach, such as magazines that have been or plastic bottles.

Earth-Friendly Lounge Chair

If you’d rather work on your tan, find an earth-friendly lounge beach chair that’s perfect for you! It will be ideal if it comes fully-padded with an adjustable reclining backrest so you can stretch out your legs to avoid sand. The ideal beach mat will also be extremely portable. Find one that’s lightweight, has an adjustable shoulder strap, and a zippered pocket that’s large enough to hold magazines and personal objects such as a wallet or shirt. If the mat is made out of a durable frame, this will ensure that it is built to last.

Folding Chairs for a Beach Home

How about finding a sleek and stylish chair that will work right outside your home? If you live in California or another area that has beach homes, you may be fortunate enough to own one or to rent one at some point. When you do enjoy a beach home, invest in a chair, such as a folding low-back chair that’s made from recycled materials. The chair may look like it’s made of wood but it’s really made from sturdy recycled materials that are helping save the earth. You will enjoy relaxing on the chair while feeling good about your purchase. Plus if the chair is weather resistant, that’s even better.

So get ready to have a delightful picnic on the beach and find beach chairs and combers that are comfortable and extremely affordable. Carry all of your other beach picnicking items and strive to help preserve the earth. You’re already doing it by buying eco-friendly beach chairs that are comfy and chic.

About the Author

Paige One enjoys writing articles about interior design, traveling, fashion, and more. Find Picnic Baskets for your beach outings during the summer and have fun stocking up on the latest accessories!

Homemade Apple Pastry

Recipe by Claire Robinson

Ingredients

2 medium apples, such as Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or McIntosh
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Caramel
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 cup powdered sugar

Preparation

PREHEAT oven to 425 degrees F.

PEEL, core and chop apples, you should have 2 cups. In a small saucepan over moderate heat combine apples and water. Place a piece of parchment paper over the apples, so they are touching and cook over moderately low heat until apples are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in pumpkin pie spice and Natural Bliss until well combined. Over moderately low heat, stir in cornstarch mixture and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

LAY 1 sheet of pastry on board and cut it into 4 equal squares. Place 2 Tbsp. of cooled apple mixture in the middle of the upper part of the dough and fold over the bottom part. Seal the edges with a bit of water and crimp with a fork. Arrange the pastries on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other pastry sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pastries from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool 15 minutes.

IN a small bowl, add the powdered sugar and whisk in 2 Tbsp. of Natural Bliss to make a thick icing consistency. Drizzle the icing over the pastries. Allow the icing to set for about 30 minutes. Enjoy at room temperature.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss.*

May is Celiac Awareness Month, and according to the Mayo Clinic, 1 in 100 people live with Celiac disease, 97% of whom will go undiagnosed. Whether you or someone you know & love suffers from Celiac disease, why not choose delicious gluten-free foods to enjoy any time of the day! French Meadow Bakery offers a smattering of healthy, tasty and gluten-free items to whip up some favorites that may have been off-limits previously, such as pizza, breads and brownies!

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

For breakfast or as a nutritious snack, the Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread is simply scrumptious! Moist and bursting with raisins and dashes of cinnamon – you won’t know that this isn’t made with wheat flour! This all-natural bread only has 2 grams of sugar per serving, as well, and “Mom” loves that it is not made with any partially hydrogenated oils, which is typical in store bought brands of cinnamon raisin bread.

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Hungry for pizza? Pizza for dinner is made simple, quick and gluten-free with the 2 pack of pizza crusts from French Meadow Bakery. Sized to be an individual pan pizza, which is perfect for engaging your young chefs in the kitchen, just add your favorite toppings, bake and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Fudge Brownies

Can we get a YUM?! These individually wrapped, perfectly portioned chewy and gooey fudge brownies are almost sinful! Made with no trans fats, artificial colors or preservatives, the brownies are an excellent choice for a gluten-free indulgence after dinner! Okay, who are we kidding – an indulgence anytime, no baking required!

To learn more about French Meadow Bakery, and all of their gluten-free offerings, visit FrenchMeadow.com. Their website also offers a printable $1.00 off coupon for use in retail stores – click here.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*