Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Lionel Bryant loves to travel, play sports and listen to music. Considered adventurous and spontaneous, Lionel is always interested in trying something new. You can reach him at Twitter and Linkedin.
Most of us may have two or more gadgets and devices to our name, and as more and more new versions of laptops, tablets and smartphones come into the market, one problem gets worse and worse. Be frank now, do you have that one closet in your home that resembles a tech graveyard?
It’s frustrating not knowing what to do with your old electronics; you don’t want to throw them away, but you’ve either outgrown them or replaced them with newer, faster, more powerful versions. If you have run out of family members to give them to and are looking for more solutions, this article will give you some ideas and tips on what you can do to put those old electronics and gadgets to good use.
Recommended Reading: 10 Early Technologies That Shaped Our Digital World Today
In the process, you can get back some of your hard-earned cash, do a good deed, be kind to the environment or exercise your creative side!
1. Sell Them
While you may never get back the money you paid for your gadget, why not get back some of it? The extra cash can go toward buying that new SLR camera or tablet you’ve had your eye on. Some places to consider selling your electronics to include:
Amazon.com: For a small fee of 99 cents, you can sell any of your old electronics on Amazon. They also host the Amazon Trade-in program, letting you trade in your old things in exchange for Amazon gift cards.
Glyde.com: From buying to selling, Glyde specializes in all things electronic. Through the site, you can compare your item to similar products being sold around the web, making sure you get the most money possible. Have a broken phone you want to let go off? Glyde has a special section for you to do that.
Gazelle.com: Through a simple click-by-click process, Gazelle will buy your old technology from you while paying you a competitive price in return. Yet another place to get rid of the old phone you had before you iPhone 5S comes in.
2. Donate Them
There are many programs that’ll take your well-kept, working electronics and give them to those less fortunate. If you’re looking to give back and reap the karma, here are some great places to start:
Salvation Army: Operating in 7539 community centers across the country, The Salvation Army is an international movement aiding in all forms of relief. They’re currently accepting computers, monitors, printers, DVD players, typewriters, and radios.
Good Will: Good Will has more than 2700 locations stretched across America, including an online auction site. From computers to cell phones, they’ll take just about any electronic you have in good condition.
Cell Phones for Soldiers: A non-profit organization, the Cell Phones for Soldiers program provides cost-free communication to all active military members and veterans.
3. Recycle Them
There comes a point in every gadget’s life when it goes beyond the point of repair. Instead of throwing away your useless hunk of plastic or metal, recycling is a more environmental-friendly option. Here are just a few of the many recycling programs available:
Call2Recycle: A company that specializes in recycling your old batteries and cell phones, Call2Recyle has more than 30,000 locations across the U.S. and Canada. With this program there’s no reason your batteries should end up in the trash.
EPA: Otherwise known as the Environmental Protection Agency, its site has listed local and national recycling programs along with helpful tips on recycling your old electronics.
Manufacture Recycle Program: When considering recycling, check to see if the manufacture has a recycling program in place. Many brands will take your old item and recycle it properly so you don’t have too.
GreenerGadgets.org: While not an actual recycler itself, this site will help you find a recycling system or company close to you. It is also filled with useful tips and tricks to live a greener life.
4. Reuse Them
With just a bit of time and creativity, you can repurpose your broken gadget into almost anything. Some crafty ideas you could try out:
Cute Computer Monitors: Take out the insides and top leaving just the box and screen. Then, fill it with water, rocks, and tropical fish. This will make the most realistic aquarium screen saver anyone has every seen. Or with a touch of paint and blankets, the hollow monitor makes the perfect animal house.
(Image source: igreenspot)
Anything Art: Just about anything is art. Take the insides from your gutted computer monitor and turn them into a sculpture. Or simply leave them in a pile with a sign over it that says “art” and your local critics will go nuts. If you need a challenge, turn your mouse into something else.
(Image source: environmentteam)
Circuitboard Jewelry: If you have a knack for building jewelry from circuit boards like Paola Mirai does, you may well turn something old and outdated to a fashion statement worn for all to see.
(Image source: behance)
Personalized keyboards: And if you have the time for it, here’s a tutorial to really let you breathe beauty into an otherwise mundane and generic part of your online life — the keyboard.
(Image source: steampunkworkshop)
No matter what you end up doing, there’s always a way to use your old gadgets before throwing them away. With just a small amount of time and research, your old toys will find a better place in this world.