Most of us have way more outdated technology than we expect. Think about it. How much old “junk” do you have sitting around the house? Your old electronics might be obsolete, but they don’t have to gather dust in a drawer or worse, in the trash.
Why repurpose? Simple—it’s good for you and good for the planet.
Suggestions for how to reuse old technology range from the strange to the useful, but they’re all cool ideas rounded up by some very creative people. Here are some of the ways you can keep electronics useful for a bit longer.
Interesting Ways to Reuse Old Technology:
Wi-fi’s taken over, but Ethernet still has its place—it’s reliable and stable, and while wi-fi technology continues to advance, Ethernet has stayed the same for several years. A wireless router from more than 5 years ago might not serve its original purpose, but it can easily be converted into a network switch, allowing you to plug in multiple devices. Click here for instructions.
A Battery Pack from an Old Cell Phone
Want to save a few bucks on a backup battery? You will need a few basic tools, including a soldering iron, but if you’ve got enough materials lying around, building your own battery pack isn’t much of a challenge. Find out how to do it here.
A Computer Fan Desk Fan
Okay, okay, it might not be the prettiest thing in the world, but who doesn’t need another fan? Summer has come to a close, but next year you might be happy you decided to follow these directions and convert your old computer fan into a miniature desk fan.
You don’t have to do any tinkering at all on this one. If you’ve got an old laptop or desktop around that’s not keeping up with the times, it might be time to demote it, not get rid of it. Laptops with an HDMI cord can be a dedicated substitute for a DVD player and a streaming
device all in one.
Fun (and Impractical) Ways to Reuse (SUPER) Old Technology:
Old monitors were huge—so huge they were big enough to house a cat. While they make a handsome pet bed when converted, those old obsolete monitors have made their final exit from most households.
Tweet This! “Cats love sleeping on monitors – why not inside them too? Reuse clunky monitors as adorable cat beds! #Reuse” Tweet This!
Floppy Disk Anything
Floppy disks can be used for making physical storage holders and many other clever items, but most people tossed theirs long ago after transferring all the data onto a modern hard drive. Still have your floppy disks? You’ve got options.
Electronic Recyclers have a few suggestions on their blog:
“Cruise around on Pinterest for a while and you’ll find more recycled computer disk projects than you can possibly imagine. Glue four into the shape of a box and place it around potted plants, tissue boxes and pencil holders. Use them as homemade spiral notebook covers. Pick the round metal circles out the 3½” disks and use them for earrings. Sew the 5¼” disks together to form purses and bags.”
Let’s face it, you can’t always re-purpose old technology. At some point it’s time to responsibly recycle your electronics and help keep them out of the landfill. Your old technology has value in creating the next generation of electronics, so be sure you’re sending your obsolete devices to a responsible recycler.
Not sure where to go? Many retailers have take-back programs, but companies need to work with a certified IT asset disposition provider.
There are lots of great ideas out there for re-purposing electronics, and we’d love to know what you’re creating with your old technology!
At ICT, we’re all for anything that keeps electronics out of landfills. That’s why we tailor our electronics recycling solutions to fit each company’s unique needs.
Susannah Bruck is a freelance blogger, editor, and ghostwriter. She has been putting her skills to use for clients since 2010, and enjoys working on formats ranging from blog posts to short stories and plays. You can find her at World Adventures