In previous blogs, we’ve talked about the yearly cycle of companies who constantly update their products, but we didn’t talk about what to do with your old devices if you do upgrade. With so many people getting caught up in the yearly cycle of replacing their devices when the latest models come out, we are starting to run into a problem known as electronic waste or e-waste. This is the name given to the devices we toss out once they reach the end of their useful life— when they break or when we simply decide we must have the newest model. But e-waste doesn’t have to be a problem, and there are many things you can do to help prevent this from becoming a technology wasteland.
One option you can use is to sell your gadgets online. From websites like Gazelle or ePelican (where you can sell your items back at a fixed price) to options like eBay or Craigslist (where prices and personal safety can widely vary)—you have many different options when it comes to selling your old devices. Just keep in mind that you will typically get back much less than you initially paid, but usually, it’s at least enough to buy a new case and some new accessories to go along with your new device!
Another option you can use is to repurpose your devices into something else that could be useful to have around the house. I personally like the idea of turning an old monitor into a cat bed! Or, if that option isn’t up your alley, you can always take your devices to local facilities that specialize in recycling electronics and they will dispose of them in an environmentally safe way.
The final option we’ll talk about is one of my favorite things to do this time of year: reset your device back to factory settings, put it in the original box (if you still have it), and re-gift it to someone else who would be happy to have it. What may be old and outdated to you, could be an absolute treasure to someone else in your life. So whatever you do, just remember—there are many great ways you can help reduce electronic waste and prevent our world from becoming a technology wasteland!
Consumer Technology Specialist