Today, the average American adult owns four digital devices including smartphones, televisions, radios, and others. That being said, these electronic devices do not last a lifetime, so they require regular replacement. These replacements leave you with ample unused electronics sitting in storage.
It is hard to know what to do with unused electronics as it is not easy to just toss them to the curb. In many places, throwing electronics (or commonly known as e-waste) into the garbage is illegal. There are many ways that you can reuse, remove, and/or recycle these old electronics.
The following are four things that you can do with your unused electronics.
1. Recycle it
Since throwing away electronics in the garbage is illegal in many places, most communities have recycling depots for e-waste. Cities often have annual electronic waste collection events to further promote the idea of electronic recycling. These initiatives are important as they keep items that are not environmentally friendly, non-biodegradable, and hazardous items out of garbage landfills.
Look for your cities’ electronics recycling events or drop off centers on your government or community webpage or for information at your local community centers.
2. Reuse it
Electronic devices have many features within them that can be used to enhance or change something else. Embrace your creative and technical side by converting your device into another electronic or use parts to improve other devices.
A common way to reuse an old electronic device is by creating an external hard drive with parts from old laptops or iPods. If parts of these devices are still functioning properly, an external hard drive is an excellent way to keep space on your updated device and create more storage space.
The idea of donating an old device is most relevant for either televisions or smartphones. Companies like Apple and Samsung are constantly updating their products and releasing new products or versions annually. Many people purchase these new electronics as soon as they are available which often means that they have a ton of unused, perfect condition electronics sitting at home.
If you are one of these people, consider donating these electronics to those who could truly benefit from them. Community organizations, schools, or online electronic forums are great places to donate unused devices. This option is best of both worlds; it lets you continue buying the latest gadgets while helping someone who could really benefit from an older device.
If you are looking to make some money off your old electronics to help fund the purchase of the latest devices, there are many online platforms that make it easy for you to advertise and sell your product. Try putting your items up on Ebay, Craigslist, or on a local Facebook group.
4. Bring it Back
As apart of many sustainability efforts, many large electronic retailers are making great efforts to avoid contributing to the issue of e-waste. One of their efforts includes the option to bring back old electronics when purchasing a new device or at any time. Some companies include a discount towards a new purchase when you exchange it for an old device. This is a great initiative that has proven to contribute to safe and environmentally friendly electronic recycling.
There are many things that can be done with old electronics from making a hard drive to earning some extra cash. It is important to understand that improper disposal of old electronics is hazardous to our environment and can possibly have legal implications. Avoid these consequences by using the above techniques to safely remove or reuse your old devices.