In case you missed the memo, today’s Earth Day. While that doesn’t mean you should totally ignore the environment the other 364 days of the year, now might be a good time to look around the house and find old gadgets that you were thinking of chucking in the trash and finding a better way to dispose of them.
Many older computers and other gadgets are perfectly usable — or have usable parts, even if they’re no longer meeting your needs. So the first thing to consider is whether you want to recycle or sell. You probably won’t get rich selling an Asus Eee PC 701 on eBay, but you can probably make a few bucks. And even if your old laptop is dead you might want to think about selling the memory, RAM, or other components.
Here are a few places to sell, or give away older gadgets:
- eBay: The world’s largest flea market
- Gazelle: Get quick cash for your old gadgets. You might not get as much as you would from eBay, but the process is much simpler.
- EcoSquid: Search multiple web sites including Gazelle to find ways to sell or recycle your gadgets.
- Craigslist: Don’t feel like packing up your gadgets and shipping them? Why not see if someone in your neighborhood wants to take them off your hands for a few bucks?
- Freecycle: Imagine Craigslist… but without the money. Freecycle makes it easy to give away items you don’t need any more. It also provides a great way to find new items you could use. We picked up a very comfortable couch and a couple of armchairs from Freecycle a few years ago.
- uBid: Another online auction site
- Oodle: Another online classified site
If selling is out of the question, you can also probably find a place to donate or recycle your old computer and other gadgets, keeping toxic metals and other elements out of landfills:
- Best Buy will recycle almost anything electronic. You can bring items into Best Buy stores for recycling. But make sure to check out the web site to see if your devices are accepted first. For some items such as old television sets, you’ll have to pay a $10 fee — but Best Buy will give you a $10 gift card in return.
- Staples has an EcoEasy program for in-store recycling of computers and related products for a $10 fee. Smaller items such as cell-phones, chargers, and ink cartridges can be recycled for free and you might even get a rebate for some items.
- Earth911 provides a detailed list of locations where you can recycle electronics in neighborhoods throughout the US. Just enter your zip code for more details.
You can find more suggestions and details at the Environmental Protection Agency web site.