Technology is evolving at a higher pace than ever and so do the gadgets. It’s very inevitable to get excited about new trends, futuristic gadgets, and the latest technologies while following the latest trends and buying new phones, laptops, and other tech devices isn’t a bad idea, but ignorance about handling old gadgets is a problematic thing.
The obsession with the latest trends and technologies doesn’t just lead to a shopping spree and financial burden but also puts us in the mountains of e-waste eventually. Knowing what to do with your old gadget is the wisest thing one can learn to reduce the heaps of e-waste around you.
The question arises of what to do with your old phones, laptops, and other electronic devices when they go obsolete or old-fashioned. Reselling, recycling, or repurposing your old gadgets might sound bothersome for many but sensing the need of the hour, one should always take this route to save the environment rather than discarding old technologies in the garbage.
Why is E-Waste Bad?
E-waste refers to the accumulation of non-recycled electronic components in landfills. For a long time, the problem of piling up e-waste was unforeseen and decades of ignorance turned it into an imminent apocalyptic threat eventually.
Most electronic gadgets use harmful elements like mercury, cadmium, palladium, lithium, lead, and cobalt which end up in landfills when you discard them negligently.
Most of these elements are highly insatiable and toxic, when these are exposed to the heat, and other reactive elements, toxic out-turns are released into the air or seep into the groundwater; causing threats to human health, and the environment.
That’s why it does more harm than good when you simply throw your old gadgets into the trash rather than recycle them.
Why Recycling & Repurposing Your Old Gadgets Is Important?
Over the years, India has become the third-largest e-waste generator in the world. With an alarming 50 million tons of e-waste being discarded in the garbage around the world every year, it is high time we address the severity of this condition.
Reselling and repurposing results in more benefits than you may think – this way you don’t just contribute to reducing e-waste but also can make use of obsolete technologies for different purposes and save a lot of money for you.
By recycling or repurposing your old tech you can help in reducing the carbon footprint, preventing pollution, the greenhouse effect, and saving energy. The reusable raw materials are also harvested in the process which helps in preserving our natural resources.
Here in this article, we have covered some genius solutions to repurpose your old gadgets.
How to repurpose your old gadgets?
Almost every tech gadget can be reused, recycled, or repurposed creatively. Electronic devices like laptops, tablets, phones, charging cables, speakers, cameras, and household appliances like microwave ovens, washing machines, or vacuum cleaners can be sold in the used-products markets or can be used for other purposes if their technology has become obsolete.
For instance, you can sell your old phone on an online store or can use your old camcorder as a surveillance camera. If you are also wondering what to do with your old gadget, we have brought you a broad range of choices that can help you in repurposing tech or making some money out of useless gadgets by reselling them:
- Resell your old gadgets
There are many such online marketplaces like OLX, Quikr, eBay, and CashMart India where you can sell your old gadgets and electronic devices. For instance, when you sell a phone, tablet, or laptop on CashMart India, its AI-powered algorithm decides a certain value for your device and buys it from you. The store then refurbishes it and resells it online to other users who want to buy a device at a cheaper price.
These online marketplaces are a haven for those tech geeks who wish to buy used phones or laptops as collectibles or for DIY kits. This way your old electronic gadgets reroute to consumers rather than ending up in landfills. You make some money by selling your old devices and those who cannot afford new tech can buy an older generation of devices at a fair price.
You can also exchange your old phones for new ones on e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart. Exchanging phones via a credible e-commerce market not only lets you afford new gadgets at a lower cost but also ensures you’re responsibly discarding your old gadgets.
On some websites, you can even sell a defunct phone with a broken screen, as it always can be refurbished, upcycled, or harvested for raw materials like gold, silver, copper, tin, and platinum.
Selling or exchanging a phone or laptop online is completely safe if you thoroughly format your data and follow some simple steps to make transactions carefully. In another article, we have covered a checklist that you must follow before selling your old gadgets.
- Repurpose your old gadgets
There are many ways you can repurpose an old piece of hardware, for an entirely different purpose than it was intended for. For example, you can turn your old smartphone into a surveillance camera, a walkie-talkie, a kid watch communicator, or even a webcam for your Zoom meetings. You can also repurpose your old phone as a universal remote control to manage smart lights, AC, and other wifi or IR-driven devices.
Networking equipment like routers and cables can be used to extend WiFi networks, chargers can be used for powering different devices that run on DC voltages, and charging cables can be used for connecting devices via USB or for hi-speed data transfer among multiple devices. Vacuum cleaners can be used as suction pumps, motors from old fans or washing machines can be used for powering small machines.
Similarly, an old tablet can be used as a rearview camera screen, a dashcam, or an infotainment screen for kids in your car. You can also use it as a digital photo album, an e-reader, or a stereo or mini TV in your kitchen. The monitor from your old PC setup can be used as a secondary screen for an extended display or as a Chromebook for your kids by installing ChromiumOS on it.
If you are a DIY geek or your kid wants to experiment with tech gadgets, you won’t be disassembling a new phone for sure. You can use your old phone for learning things like jailbreaking an OS, installing a custom ROM, or simply disassembling and reassembling a phone in a workshop which you would not do with a new device otherwise.
Also, you can donate your old gadgets like phones, tablets, and laptops to underprivileged students for educational or training purposes. There are many charitable organizations like Pratham, ChildLine India which can pick up old computers and laptops from you and put them to good use.
- Recycle your old gadgets
Harvesting old gadgets for raw materials like gold, copper, silver, aluminum, silicon, and platinum is better than throwing them in the garbage. There are many third-party recycling services like ExtraCarbon, Karma Recycling, Eco-Tech Recycling, and Attero, which are doing commendable jobs in recycling e-waste. You can drop your trash in their collections centers. Some of these recycling platforms also offer pickup services from your doorstep and send their executives to collect electronic waste.
Some popular merchandise like Croma and Reliance Digital has installed drop-boxes in their stores to promote responsible disposal of e-waste. You can discard your useless old gadgets in these drop-boxes.
In India, scrap dealers pay you a little money for your junk and disassemble the gadgets in their garages. These scrap dealers deploy unscientific practices in the process, more often they burn the e-waste to collect metals like copper, aluminum, and gold. This way you are doing more harm to nature than good. You need to ensure you always give your electronic waste to an authentic recycler.