You’ve always been a bit of a packrat but things are getting a little out of hand. Your storage closet can only fit so much and it’s almost full to bursting. You’ve got tons of old electronics lying around that don’t function anymore.
You’re not sure why you’ve kept it all. You can’t sell it. Guess it’s time to haul it to the garbage dump.
Except, you probably shouldn’t. All of that plastic and wires will sit in the landfills for years. As you can imagine, that’s not good for the environment.
Besides, there always better things you can do with your electronics. Check out this guide to learn the best ways to recycle tech.
1. Turn Your Computer Keys into Jewelry
You’ve traded up your desktop computer for a laptop because you’re going off to college soon. You have no idea what you’re going to do with the old plugin keyboard and mouse. What if we told you that you can turn them into accessories for yourself.
Well, you can use the loose keys anyway. Pop them off and grab a hole puncher, string, and a bit of wire. You can transform them into cute necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.
2. Put Your Old Phone to Good Use in the Bedroom
Just because your old phone is a brick now doesn’t mean you can’t get more use out of it. Keep it in your bedroom and use it as an alarm clock. Since you’re not going to be talking or texting with it, you can keep it plugged in.
There are apps you can download that will help you sleep too. With the press of a button, you’ll be able to play calming sounds that will send you off to dreamland.
3. Give Your Old Computer Screen to Your Pets
You can’t do this with flatscreens, but if you have any monitors from the stone ages laying around, your pets might be able to get some use out of them.
All you have to do is pop the back off the monitor and take all the wiring out. You can make it into a unique aquarium for your fish. You can also put a pillow in it and turn it into a cat bed.
4. Take it to a Drop-Off Site
If you don’t like any of the creative ideas we give you and you can’t think of anything else to do with your used electronics, you can always pass them off to someone else.
There are a lot of electronics recycling mistakes that you can make. The biggest one is not taking it to a good place. There are several organizations that will take your tech off your hands.
Do research to make sure you take it to the right organization. There should also be drop-off spots in your area where you can dump the electronics. No matter what you do, they’ll end up in good hands rather than the landfills.
5. Save Your Old Chargers
When you get rid of devices, it feels natural to toss the chargers with them. We’re here to tell you to put them in a drawer. There are better things that you can do with them.
Wires that are made out of copper can be traded in for cash. Not much cash mind you, but every little bit helps. When you buy new electronics, you may be able to use the old chargers to keep them running if the charger that comes with them gives out.
6. Home Security
Having a security system installed can be expensive. Cut the cost by using an old tablet instead. Download Skype and set it up to automatically accept any incoming calls.
You can use an old laptop to call the tablet and take a look around your home while you’re at work. Of course, full systems are better at detouring burglars and this setup won’t notify you if someone breaks in. Still, some security is better than no security.
7. Put Your Old Cassette Tapes to Use
When it comes to business cards, first impressions are always everything. Make a unique impression by using your old cassette tapes to hold your cards.
Open the tape by unscrewing the corners. Take out the spools and any other pointy parts. Use clear tape to seal the bottom edges of the cassette and boom. You’ve got a great desk ornament to hold your business cards.
Speaking of interesting desk ornaments, you can turn your old burned-out lightbulbs into a terrarium. Take out all the wiring. Clear off the white paint so you’ll be able to actually see your little forest.
Fill up the bottom of the bulb with soil. Put a small plant or two in the center, and add in a ceramic figure of a cute animal for effect. That’s all there is to it. Set it up on your work desk or display it on a shelf in your house.
Things You Can Do with Old Electronics Besides Toss Them Out
Every year Americans throw away over 9 million tons of electronics. There are so many better uses for these unwanted computers and phones.
You can use the phone as an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning. Your old light bulbs will make cute terrariums, you can even turn an old tablet into a cheap home security system.
If you really can’t think of a use for your old electronics, there’s always drop-off spots you can take them to. Think before you toss.
Once you recycle your dated business electronics, it’s time to replace them with new ones. Check out this post to see what you should be looking for.