Say ‘No’ to Planned Obsolescence.
“Electronic products are made from valuable resources and materials, including metals, plastics, and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Donating or recycling consumer electronics conserves our natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.” — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
In April of 2016, Apple admitted that the average life span of their iPhone is about three years, while a 2015 Gallup poll shows that more than half of Apple’s consumers change their phones even sooner — every two years. This planned obsolescence, pushed by the industry and embraced by consumers, is poisoning our environment. It’s time for profound change in the industry.
It also means that your phone shouldn’t be trashed or forgotten in a drawer after its short life. According to tech experts like Farhad Manjoo, a columnist for The New York Times’ State of the Art, our smartphones “seem to have hit an innovation plateau.” What it means is that there haven’t been major changes on the leading smartphone features. Besides some perks like a better flash or a picture that “comes to life,” there isn’t much more added value to the devices most of us already have. The upside of that is that more people, especially underprivileged ones, can enjoy a high-tech device.
Donate Your Old Electronics
Give your old gadgets to public schools, churches, or nonprofits. Most of them can make good use of anything from old laptops and computers to printers and software.
If there aren’t any local organizations that want your electronics, your old devices can help many disadvantaged communities. Check out the National Cristina Network, which features a large variety of schools, nonprofits and charitable organizations that can benefit from your donations. Simply enter a zip code and start exploring.
Another organization dedicated to repurposing excess electronics is the Electronics Access Foundation. It promises to donate your electronics to qualified charitable organizations.
Sell Your Device
Ready to unclog your drawers from old gadgetry lying around? There are a variety of sites offering to buy your devices, even if they are broken or damaged. From the popular trade-in website Gazelle, to vending-machine-like drop-off boxes ecoATM and Amazon’s own trade-in program, you can price out your best option and even buy a certified phone.
Utilize Social Media
Search Facebook for organizations near you that will happily take your donation. You can also find local groups that will buy and sell your unwanted stuff.