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A Look at Why Green Consumers are Buying Refurbished Electronics



Mobile phone by Wowbagger, the Infinitely Prolonged via Flickr

If you’re in the market for a consumer electronics product such as a phone, computer, or TV, you may find yourself presented with two options: new or refurbished. While your initial reaction is to go with the new product, the price tag on the refurbished alternative can be tempting. Do you know the benefits of refurbished products?

3 Benefits of Buying Refurbished

We’ve all heard the term “refurbished” thrown around, but how much do you actually know about these products? According to a survey by technology consulting firm Accenture, only five percent of returned electronics are actually defective.

Some refurbished products haven’t even been removed from the original packaging by the consumer. And if there is a defect, most companies send the product to an authorized repair center for inspection, repair, and repackaging.

Now that you understand the reality of the refurbished market, let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits to buying these products:

1. Environmental Impact

One of the biggest reasons for buying a refurbished product is the positive environmental impact this type of transaction produces.

“For starters, it reduces the amount of electronic waste because this way life cycle of devices becomes way longer,” says Megan of, who has experience with the refurbished cellphone market. “It also decreases demand for new phones which in turn helps preserve earth’s raw materials. In other words, by buying refurbished phones, you will contribute to improving our planet’s wellbeing.”

While you may not personally see the tangible effects of your decision to purchase refurbished, you can rest easy knowing you’re doing your part to reduce your footprint as a consumer.

2. Price

One tangible benefit you will experience when purchasing refurbished is cost savings. For phones and smaller electronic devices, you can see savings of between 30-50 percent when compared to the exact same product with a “new” label. For computers and larger devices, savings of 10-25 percent are common. Not bad when you’re getting the same exact product!

3. Test Unit

Are you thinking about switching from one PC brand to another? Do you want to see if your child is responsible enough to own a cell phone? Is your office about to purchase 100 new printers? Any time you’re preparing to invest a substantial amount of money in new technology, it can be a smart idea to test it out. With a cheaper refurbished unit, you can see how well you like the technology without investing much.

What to Look for When Buying Refurbished

While most refurbished products will have the same quality as brand new products, there are some specific things to look for when shopping for a refurbished item.

Return policy. A return policy is important when you’re purchasing a refurbished unit. Some companies offer 14-day return periods, while others label the sale as-is. “We think it’s best to avoid purchasing products as is,” says Patrick Austin of Consumer Reports, “since they may not have been through a refurbishment process.”

Brand name. It’s also important to consider the brand name. Are you buying from an established name like Best Buy or Apple – or is it a tiny online retailer you’ve never heard of? As a rule of thumb, only purchase refurbished products from reputable brands.

Look for warranties. It’s sometimes hard to find a good warranty on a refurbished product, but be patient, and you’ll find one. When it comes to electronics a 30 or 60-day warranty is nothing. Look for ones that are six months or one year in length.

If you’re looking to purchase something like a phone, computer, or TV, don’t shy away from refurbished options. While there’s some risk associated with these purchases, the fears most people have aren’t valid. The environmental impact can be significant and it’ll feel good knowing you’re an eco-friendly shopper.



Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage



water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism



When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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