Technology has become a staple of our lives, but one of the unfortunate consequences of this has become the lingering question: what can be done with old electronics which we no longer have a use for?
Most of us have multiple e-reader devices and an extra mobile phone or two. This represents a problem in that the stuff is just sitting around being useless. There are ways to reduce the clutter at home or at work, be environmentally conscious with old electronics, and perhaps give yourself a creative challenge along the way.
Here is a brief overview of some possible solutions to the issue.
Give It Away
One of the easiest things to do is to give that old e-reader or phone to a younger family member. They can start learning how to use technology and have fun playing the games you loaded on there for yourself. So yes, while the item technically is not out of the house, it is at least no longer your responsibility.
Local recycling sites accept a variety of items, but it pays to phone ahead and ask a few questions. Some centres have restrictions on what they will take, or they may prefer items be separated into smaller groups for their convenience. There are also professional recycling services available where you can dispose of your electronic waste without harming the environment. Such companies will recycle IT items either as a one time service or by means of annual contracting for businesses.
Resell On eBay Or Amazon Or…?
Instead of paying someone to remove the little problem of all those extra devices lying around the house, why not resell them on eBay, Amazon, or even at a car boot sale? Whichever you choose, be certain to clean up the devices and put on your most professional demeanour. It’ll go a long way towards making your sale and you may well get more money for your effort, as well.
Freecycle is an excellent choice for simply giving away old electronics. This is an online way to connect quickly with people who may be interested in your unwanted electronic devices. Create a membership account online and write an accurate description. Once an interested party makes contact, arrange for a meeting, usually in a public place, and make the device disappear from your life. As with other ways of finding a new owner for old stuff, it’s smart to wipe the memory of an old device, or at least remove all personal information.
Donate to Charity
Charitable organisations are in regular need of electronic devices for use in a variety of places. For instance, women’s shelters often supply women who come to the shelter with an inexpensive phone. Other organizations include http://www.computeraid.org/ which accepts PCs for use in schools in developing countries. Fonebank will either recycle the parts of old mobile phones or repair them and donate them for use in disadvantaged communities where phone service is iffy at best.
Use it In New Ways
The creative challenge with electronics is finding new and unusual ways to reuse them. Similar to hanging old CDs in the garden to scare away the birds, other kinds of obsolete technology can be reused as well. If you’ve ever seen an old desktop monitor turned into a fish tank, then you have seen the beginning of endless possibilities. The trick is to not think of that monitor as a monitor per se, but rather as a large empty shape that needs to be filled. Old hard drives can still store data, or they can be taken apart and made into an industrial chic end table. There are ways to decorate with technology that both reuses old items and creates a statement piece.