​Apple extends free recycling to all used products - and you might get a gift card

Reiterating what the Apple CEO said at last month's shareholder meeting, Tim Cook still wants to "leave the world better than we found it", and nows he's trying harder to deliver on that. Starting today, all of the company's stores will accept any Apple product for recycling at no charge. Better still, if it looks resalable, the company will offer some store credit (read Apple gift card) to sweeten the deal. Talking to the AP, Lisa Jackson, VP of environmental initiatives (and former EPA administrator) said that Apple wants to "use all our innovation and all of our expertise to make the planet more secure and make the environment better." Now, it might be hard to care less about both the accompanying glossy video from Apple (narrated by Cook and embedded after the break) and the portal site touching on the company's multi-pronged green initiatives, but even our cynicism can't defend against some of the impressive environmental progress made by Cook's team in recent years.

Apple's four data centers, based in the US, now use only renewable energy, encompassing biogas, wind, solar and hydroelectric power. Up from 35 percent in 2010, roughly 94 percent of the power used by Apple offices across the world is now from renewable sources, while 120 of its US retail outlets also boast the same environmentally-friendly credentials. Greenpeace recently described Apple as the most innovative and aggressive company pursuing the aim of being 100 percent renewably-powered, and if Greenpeace likes what you're doing, that's normally a good sign.