It’s time to upgrade to a new phone. So what do you do with your old one?
If you’re like me, you probably have a drawer full of old smartphones collecting dust. You could always trade them in for cash, but unless you have a newer Android phone or an iPhone, you probably won’t get much for it.
What should you do? One thing is certain. Don’t just throw it away. According to a United Nations Environment Program report titled “Waste Crimes,” up to 50 million tons of electronic waste — mainly computers and smartphones — are expected to be dumped in 2017. Smartphones are full of metals, minerals and chemicals that when disposed of in landfills or incinerated can become toxic.
In this edition of Ask Maggie I share what I like to do with my old devices.
Between my husband and me, we have a mountain of old unused smartphones. What should we do with them all?
Trying to Stay Green
If your old phones still turn on and work, there are lots of things you can do with them. Of course, you can always give them to a friend or family member who needs a phone or even keep them around as backups in case your new phone is lost, stolen or broken. But there are plenty of other uses for them, too. While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are some of my favorites, most of which I use at home.
For more ideas of what to do with your old cell phone, check out this CNET video.
8 ways to repurpose your old phone
Getting a new phone? Put your old iPhone or Android device to good use in one of these handy roles.
by Chris Parker 2:10 Close Drag Autoplay: ON Autoplay: OFF Camera/video recorder
I don’t know about you, but I take a ton of photos and video on my phone. I don’t even know where my DSLR is anymore. I have small kids and juggle all their gear, so my smartphone is super easy to carry and whip out for taking photos and videos. But one place I am reluctant to take my phone is to the beach. And yet I still want those adorable pics of the kids eating sand — er, I mean building sand castles and frolicking in the waves.
Why not use one of those old phones in my drawer? While my old Samsung Galaxy S3 may not be water-resistant or sand-proof, I’d rather risk getting my old phone wet, sandy or stolen than my brand new device. And because it has Wi-Fi, when I return to a hotspot, all my photos and video can be automatically synced to Google Photos, just like pics and video from the smartphone I’m currently using.
Bedside device/alarm clock/photo album/white noise machine
Phones are a great bedside gadget. Just set up a docking station charger and you’re good to go. First they make fantastic alarm clocks. They’re endlessly customizable. You can set multiple alarms and even get calendar alerts to remind you of an early meeting.
Second, they’re perfect for displaying digital photos. There are tons of apps in iTunes and Google Play that turn your device into a digital photo frame.
Another great use for a phone on the nightstand is as a white noise machine. Again, there are too many apps to name, but there are several free apps in both the