As a society we are upgrading our gadgets and smartphones at a faster rate than ever. It was just five or six years ago when we were using 17″ LCD monitors. Ten years ago we were using heavy CRT monitors which consumed an inordinate amount of power and space. Now 23″ LED monitors are standard. In one decade we have upgraded our monitors enough times to create a lot of waste. Multiply that by 100 million people and the amount of waste is almost unimaginable.
Now consider how many times we upgrade our smartphones, tablets, televisions, speakers, portable batteries, laptops, and desktop computers. We can’t wait to get our hands on the latest and greatest devices. That leaves many devices left in garages, drawers and boxes left to rot until we one day decide to dump them. There are many alternative options to what you can do with those devices while they still have value and life remaining.
5 Ways to Delete Your Old Device Drawer
- Donate It: Whether it’s completely dead or just a bit outdated, there are some wonderful organizations that would love to get their hands on your old devices. Take Verizon’s HopeLine, for instance. HopeLine collects no-longer used wireless phones, batteries, chargers and accessories in any condition from any service provider to benefit victims and survivors of domestic violence. Wireless phones given to HopeLine are turned into valuable financial support for domestic violence awareness and prevention initiatives.
- Recycle It: Believe it or not, there is a huge market out there for used devices. If you’re looking to avoid that awkward Craigslist transaction, several companies are vying to painlessly take them off your hands. For example, C7 Device Recycle—an online platform that provides wireless equipment recycling solutions utilizing non-profit donations, fundraising and for-profit resale—is a safe and easy way to get your old device into the hands of someone that will actually use it.
- Pass it down: Hand it down to your youngsters. If you’re one of the 90 million parents in the United States, chances are you’ve got kid that is itching to get their hands on a phone. If a new one is out of your budget, reactivating an old device is a great way to pacify their desires without breaking the bank. Plus, since caution is a learned behavior, you won’t worry so much about it breaking when your children inevitably drops it on the ground.
- Charge It: If you have an old cell phone, pull it out of the drawer, charge it up and stick it in your glovebox (along with the charger). Why? Everyone needs a backup plan. If you’re ever in an accident or have an emergency, you can pull the phone out and use it to call 911. It’s not widely known, but all cell phones are required to allow you dial 911—even if it doesn’t have an active service plan. This safety measure has likely saved a lot of lives, considering 70 percent of 911 calls are made using a cell phone.
- Repurpose It: Turn your old device into a tool or toy, depending on your preference! For example, if the device still works, you can use it for all sorts of interesting things. If you’ve got a pesky neighbor or kids to keep an eye on, you can turn your old smartphone into a security camera by downloading the IP Cam or IP Webcam app—enabling you to watch what’s happening through your computer. If you need a backup alarm clock, old devices are an easy solution. You could even make it your dedicated e-reader, if it’s a tablet. The options are only limited by your imagination.
Do not dump your old gadgets in the garbage. Many devices have toxic metals and materials within the internals, and can pollute the environment. Be responsible and find them a new home.