5 Ways to Get Paid for Protecting the Environment

According to the EPA, more than 40 million computers alone became obsolete in 2007, and the numbers keep rising. But electronics recycling services make it easy to help keep those numbers down.

YouRenew, for example, covers the cost of shipping your electronics, and, depending on the condition of the item, will send you a check that could be upwards of $100.

EarthAid

If you want an incentive to save energy and water at home, take a look at EarthAid.

VIDEO:Less Garbage Means Tough Times
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The Washington-based service uses software to track your electricity, natural gas and water consumption. After it determines a baseline for you (using past consumption), the service awards points for each kilowatt-hour of electricity, ten cubic feet of natural gas or 20 gallons of water saved relative to that baseline.

Those points can be redeemed at local businesses across the country. (The service is free of charge, but EarthAid says it must track your consumption for a year (to establish a baseline) before it can start awarding points.)

Greenopolis

Greenopolis gives green-leaning consumers a range of ways to earn rewards for recycling.

The interactive Web site lets anyone contribute blog posts and ideas to the site for points that can be redeemed at local restaurants and entertainment venues.

But it also has an "on-street" element to complement the online piece.

Through its GreenOps program, people can take beverage containers to select Whole Foods stores to earn Greenopolis points or coupons that can be redeemed at some WholeFoods locations.

About 68 Whole Foods across the country currently host GreenOps kiosks, but in the next six months, the company said hundreds of kiosks are expected to launch in Whole Foods and other locations nationwide.

"Putting stuff curbside is great -- it's fantastic. We think it's got to be a huge part of the solution," said Paul Ligon, managing director of GreenOps. But about 40 percent of the U.S. population doesn't have access to curbside recycling, he said.

For those communities – and the rest of us who could benefit from more on-the-go recycling options – he said Greenopolis provides another approach.

"It's an open platform for consumers, producers and any others interested in moving the dial on recycling," said Ligon.

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