Ring Out the Old
A couple of weeks ago, Americans across the country rang in the New Year with excitement and hopes for the future. New Year’s Day is a time to make resolutions, think about ways to improve your quality of life, and start off the New Year with a clean slate. What better way to start off the year than to give back to your community and make a difference?
Chances are, you or someone you know received a new wireless device for the holidays. One simple way to give back to the environment and your community is to recycle your old device and put it in the hands of someone who needs it. Not only will you be fulfilling a resolution to give back, you will also get the benefit of cleaning out your desk drawers to start the year fresh!
The best part – recycling these products and giving back to people in need couldn’t be easier! Many retailers have implemented recycling programs to help consumers recycle their phones and other electronics; one such retailer is Verizon Wireless. Through HopeLine® from Verizon, the company accepts wireless devices, batteries and accessories in any condition from any manufacturer or service provider. The phones can be dropped off at any Verizon Wireless Communications Store or dropped in the mail with a postage-paid label, and the company will either refurbish them or dispose of them in an environmentally sound way. These refurbished phones can either be put directly into the hands of a domestic violence survivor, or turned into cash grants for domestic violence organizations. Not only does your device go through the proper channels to get recycled, but it also ends up in the hands of someone who needs it.
I know your next question – what happens to the personal information on my phone when I send the device to a recycling program? We hear this question a lot, especially with the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets. The answer: As part of the refurbishing process, HopeLine scrubs all donated phones to ensure customer information is removed. In addition, in a few quick steps, you can remove all personal information yourself from your device:
- Ensure that your service has been turned off and your account has been terminated from the device.
- Make sure you have logged out of all social networking sites, emails, wireless networks and applications. Once logged out, you should ensure that your password information is cleared from the device. You can do so by returning to the social networking sites and checking to see if you are prompted for a user name and password.
- Erase contacts from your address book, delete call logs, erase messages, and remove your stored photos, videos and other media. This can be done manually; in addition, check out your phone’s manual on the device’s website to find out how to reset the device back to its factory settings.
- If you have a memory/SIM card inserted in the device, make sure to remove and store it in a safe place.
The New Year gives us a great opportunity to make a fresh start. All it takes is one simple action and a quick trip to your local Verizon Wireless store or post office drop box to make a big difference. Thanks to the efforts of consumers who donated their phones to HopeLine, more than 8 million no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories have been either refurbished or turned into cash grants to benefit victims and domestic violence organizations across the country, totaling more than $10 million.
Start the New Year off right – check off one of your resolutions and make a difference!
Elva Lima is Executive Director of Multicultural Communications and Community Relations for Verizon Wireless. For 10 years, Verizon Wireless has devoted its community service efforts to recycling through the company’s HopeLine® program. For more information on HopeLine, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.