With new versions of products coming out all the time, you may find yourself with a drawer full of old cell phones, clunky laptops, or out-of-commission MP3 players. Just because your old devices are now passé does not mean they’re trash; so don’t treat them as such.
For one, most electronics contain materials that can be damaging to the earth if they are left to breakdown in landfills. Further, these products are made of metals, plastics, and rubbers that might be useful for other fun things!
Read below to determine what to do with old electronics.
What to Do With Old Electronics: Reduce
Reducing the number of products you have to throw out starts with your buying habits. Determine whether or not it’s time to upgrade and have a 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) plan before you decide to buy something new. That means knowing whether you’re going to donate, repurpose, or recycle your old device before buying the new one.
If you have determined that your device still has some life in it, but you don’t want to keep it around anymore, locate a community organization that may be in need of low-cost or free computers, tablets, MP3 players, or even cell phones. There are also national organizations that accept donations of used electronics. Might as well put your used electronics to good use if they’re still functional, right? If you’re on a deadline to get rid of your old products, consider donating! Here is a non-extensive list written by Mashable that highlights 5 fantastic charities that will take electronics off your hands.
Maybe your devices are used, but are not old. That seems to be the case these days as many consumers upgrade their cell phones or tablets on an annual basis. If you know you can squeeze a little extra cash out of your used device, consider getting a quote from a site like ExchangeMyPhone, NextWorth, Amazon Electronics Trade-In, or Best Buy Trade-In.
Just remember – if you do decide to give away your old electronics, make sure you completely wipe them first to ensure that you don’t give away any personal information or data, too!
What to Do With Old Electronics: Reuse
If your electronics are just plain old and not worth re-selling or donating, think outside the box and get creative with the old hardware! If you’ve been on Pinterest lately, you can agree that the site is the motherlode of creative and fun projects you can do with old electronics! From a greenhouse made of old CD cases to a cat bed made out of an old Mac desktop, there are plenty of DIY projects that involve repurposing out-of-commission electronics. Take a look at our board, BLINQ Thinks Green to start to gather some ideas.
What to Do With Old Electronics: Recycle
Whatever you do – do not put your electronics out to be collected with the trash. Trash ends up in landfills, and harmful elements contained in batteries and other electronics parts can damage the earth. There are plenty of ways to recycle electronics, including, but not limited to dropping them off at consumer electronics retailers like BestBuy, Staples, and even Apple stores. For a quick and easy search, check the EPA’s website. You can search based on what you need to recycle, and the results will tell you where you can take them.
Did we miss something? Let us know what you’ve done with old electronic devices in the comments!