By Larraine Roulston:
Teachers and parent volunteers, as well as charitable groups seeking additional funds, are making a shift to green fundraising products or services. The traditional fundraisers that worked well in the past no longer apply to the present generation, who want to make a sound environmental difference in their communities. Since approximately 375 million used ink and toner cartridges enter U.S. landfills each year, one option is to recycle these inkjet cartridges, cell phones and other small electronics. Whether students requiring new band instruments or a charitable group wishing to maintain its operation, their selecting green fundraising products or services is the way of the future.
California based Planet Green has grown into one of the largest ink cartridge re-manufacturers in the world. The company recycles empty cartridges and remanufactures them into brand new usable cartridges. Its recycling program for groups, businesses and individuals is focused on social responsibility and embodies recycling habits. As partner organizations send their recycling boxes, Planet Green Recycle inspects them, adds up the payout and issues the organizations a check.
“With our recycling program, everyone wins,” states Marketing Director, Greg Churilov. “The individual reduces their footprint, the recycling organization raises needed funds, we remanufacture inkjet cartridges and the consumer gets a green, affordable alternative to expensive big-brand cartridges.”
Since Planet Green’s Recycling Program began in 2007, the company has managed, with the help of thousands of organizations, to recycle over 8 million pounds of printer cartridges – and has paid out over 50 million dollars in checks to recycling partners. Over the years, its recycling efforts grew to include cell phones and various small electronics. The dedicated Planet Green team also hosts e-waste recycling events that collect old computers on school campuses as well as educate the community through tours of its warehouse to display the remanufacturing process. Its vision is not only to collect e-waste for recycling at special events, but also to make it an ongoing commitment.
Planet Green works as follows: Open an account with the company and constantly set aside all discarded e-waste for recycling. When a suitable amount has been saved, ship the container via courier and a check will be put in the mail to you. To make things convenient, Planet Green provides boxes and labels, and accepts the shipping charges. Its vision is more than a one-time fundraising concept; rather, it is about changing people’s habits to continue to recycle their obsolete electronic gadgets. By working together with schools and other organizations, Planet Green makes a difference in keeping our landfills free of electronic waste.
Even if you are not connected with fundraising, individuals can contact Planet Green or recycle their inkjet cartridges at many of the locations where they are purchased. Collectively each year in North America, more than 40,000 metric tons of plastic and metal are saved as a result of cartridge recycling.
Green fundraising choices become an opportunity to promote your group’s environmental philosophy by choosing wisely from many fundraising options. Besides regularly recycling e-waste, you can include these other ideas:
- Sell flower and plant seeds that will attract bees and butterflies.
- Seek opportunities to be paid by your municipality by conducting a litter pick-up, and receive payment by weight.
- Check out district-wide environmental challenges such as Recycling Councils that promote the Waste Free Lunch Challenge and Recycle My Cell.
- Select products to sell that are either healthy to eat or are useful, nontoxic and recyclable.
- Connect with organizations such as The Used Clothing Drive – a group which offers cash for collected donations of clothing and household items.
Becoming environmentally conscience in fundraising will lead to a healthier planet.
Larraine authors the children’s book series Pee Wee at Castle Compost,www.castlecompost.com