April 8, 2008 1:34 pm

Goodbye Old Blackberry, Hello New Blackberry!What to do with your old, obsolete electronic inventions

A gadget’s life is not easy. One day you’re the king of the pile, the best of the best, the newest and hottest product – and in the blink of an eye, you’re replaced by something better.

As InventHelp’s Invention Girl, I grapple with this guilt every time I get a new gadget. As I discard the camera or cell phone that used to be my #1, I can’t help but think of poor Woody from the movie Toy Story, whose heart was broken when he was quickly pushed aside when a better toy came along.

And while I can’t stop the rapid progression of technology (and believe me, InventHelp’s Invention Girl wouldn’t even think of it!), I can at least dispose of my used electronics in an environmentally friendly way. Thanks to a pilot program announced by the U.S. Postal Service this week, consumers can mail back small electronics items and ink cartridges for recycling free of charge.

“Free and Green” is what the USPS describes as the goal of the program. Customers use free envelopes found in 1,500 Post Offices to mail back inkjet cartridges, PDAs, Blackberries, digital cameras, iPods and MP3 players without having to pay for postage.

Postage is paid for by Clover Technologies Group, a company that recycles, remanufactures and remarkets inkjet cartridges, laser cartridges and small electronics. If the electronic item or cartridges cannot be refurbished and resold, its component parts are reused to refurbish other items, or the parts are broken down further and the materials are recycled.

So, the next time you need to mail a package, keep an eye out for the free envelopes. InventHelp’s Invention Girl will definitely be picking some up at the Post Office, because I love the fact that my old gadget-friend could be a part of my NEW gadget-friend!

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