Back to school in our house means not only buying new school supplies, but also checking to make sure our home technology can handle the new school year. Fortunately, all our tech made the cut, but if I decided to replace my video-editing tween son’s 3 year old MacBook laptop, I could easily save some cash on it just by participating in Apple’s recycling program.

A lot of folks don’t know it, but Apple contracts with PowerOn, a company that determines the fair market value of the iPhone, iPad, or computer you want to recycle. Including PCs. They also decide if the equipment qualifies for reuse.

If it is worth something, just recycle with them and the value will be applied to an Apple Gift card. But if we’re talking, say, your old Commodore 64 that’s still in the basement, at least PowerOn will recycle it at no cost, which is still good for the planet if not your actual wallet.

I like that if my son decideds to recycle his three year-old iPod, the Apple retail store will take his iPod or even a mobile phone, and give a 10% discount toward the purchase of a new iPod. That seems like two lessons worth learning. –Jeana

Details on the Apple recycling program be found online on the Apple website.