If you've just purchased a new smartphone, don't just toss your old one in the trash. Instead of contributing to the growing amount of electronic waste in the nation's landfills, use one of these creative and responsible ways to recycle your old cell phone:
1. Donate it to the Troops
If your old phone is still in great condition, join thousands of others by making a donation to the Cell Phones for Soldiers program. It won't cost you a thing and your act of charity will help a member of the military call home to speak to their family. In 2011, this program is expected to provide 750,000 mobile phones to our troops stationed abroad.
2. Programs for Victims of Domestic Violence
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence refurbishes donated phones and sells them to fund their programs. In addition to reducing the amount of waste going into the country's landfills, this choice helps victims of spousal abuse escape their abusers and supports new laws to help put an end to domestic violence.
3. Use it as an Emergency Backup
If the battery still holds a charge, keep it in your glove box. As long as an inactivated phone can get a signal, it can still be used to reach 911 in an emergency. In addition to being able to speak to the authorities, they will also be able to track your location using the onboard GPS capabilities.
4. Hand it Down to Your New Driver
If you have a teenager who's about to get their license, giving them your old phone could be the best repurposing plan. Although they might want a new smartphone of their own, using your hand-me-down will let them keep in touch and give them a reason to earn a little cash to buy a better phone at a later date.
5. Transform it into a Work of Art
Creative types can turn just about anything, including old cell phone, into works of art. Whether you make a statement about the changing world or simply amuse your friends, it’s a creative way to keep your phone out of a landfill.
6. Sell it on Ebay or Craigslist
You can always try to sell your old phone and pick up an extra bit of cash. You may require the latest and greatest Android Smartphone, but there are plenty of people who find the value in more basic models. Wondering who would want your old, outdated phone? Here are a few possibilities:
According to the EPA, over 500,000 phones are recycled each year, but this only accounts for about one percent of the cell phones discarded on a yearly basis. Some of the remaining phones are repurposed, but many end up in landfills or incinerators. As a result, the chemicals and metals used to make the phone pollute the surrounding environment. There’s no need to throw away a phone when recycling easy.
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