Finding uses for old laptops is something that we all have to do sooner or later, since most of us have a laptop as either our main or secondary computer. And unfortunately they don´t seem to last very long! Sometimes we may choose to upgrade, but either way we have to do something with the old one. Throwing it away is really bad for the environment, but there are lots of opportunities for old laptop donations. So here are some great uses for old laptops …
The most likely destination for an old laptop donation, if it is broken or really old, is to recycle it. Most local authorities offer facilities for disposing of unwanted laptops; take your machine there, and they will dispose of it safely. Anything that can be recovered will be reused or recycled, so you know that your beloved old laptop will end its days doing some good!
Computers are very important in schools now, but not all schools have a large budget for IT equipment. It´s worth asking if any of the schools in your local area can make use of a working laptop. Even if the school itself doesn´t need it, they may be able to pass it on to a student whose family can´t afford to get them their own laptop.
One of the best uses for old laptops is to pass them on to a project that will refurbish them. My old university had one run by a group of IT students who did just that, and then sold the refurbished machines to raise funds for charity. That´s where I got both my first laptop and desktop machines – they weren´t top of the range, obviously, but they saw me through my degree.
4. Elderly Relative
The internet isn’t just for the young! With the rise of the silver surfer, more and more older people are learning to use computers and the internet. Donate your old laptop to an elderly relative and teach them how to use it – chances are they will love the new freedom it gives them! It´s especially useful for anyone who is housebound, or wants to keep in touch with grandchildren.
When looking for uses for old laptops, it´s always worth considering charities. Passing your old machine onto a charity means that it will be helping a great cause. They may be able to use it directly to help their work, or find it a good home with someone who could really use a laptop but can´t afford one.
Another handy option is to offer your old laptop on Freecycle or other similar groups. The idea, for anyone who´s not familiar with these groups, is that members offer unwanted goods, others apply for the item, and the person offering chooses who to give it to. No money exchanges hands, but a usable item is kept out of landfill and goes to someone who can use it.
If the laptop really is at the end of its useful life as an active machine, it can still be used as spare parts. If it´s a decent model, it may be worth advertising it in eBay – but be sure to make very clear in the listing that it is for parts only and not sold as a working machine. Or if you know any technicians, ask if they want it for parts.
You can find plenty of sources for old laptop donation, so when yours wears out or is no longer sufficient for your needs, make sure you don´t just throw it away. If you sell or donate it, do wipe the hard drive so that all your data is removed. All these uses for old laptops will be really positive for someone else, so when you buy your shiny new one you can be happy that your old one will be put to good use! How long do your laptops last, and what do you do with your old ones?
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