Great Ideas for Your Used Cell Phone

by ‐ Tags: green living

Looking to get the iPhone 5 soon?  The excitement and mystery surrounding the new features has probably distracted more than a couple of people from considering the fate of their current, probably still functioning cell phone.


The enormous amount of e-waste exports to developing countries has come to the forefront of public interest in recent years as consumers upgrade to newer gadgets on an increasingly frequent basis. Fortunately, that publicity led to the enactment of current e-waste laws in 25 US states making it easier than ever to recycle old electronics. However, only a few states including California, New York, and Maine have specifically enacted laws targeting mobile phone recycling. Learn more about the life cycle of a cell phone from the EPA. 

While many carriers accept old cell phones, here are some other alternatives for your latest phone reject:


Need some extra cash to help you justify that new fancy phone? In light of recent recycling efforts, new websites have also encouraged people to sell their old cell phones to each other. While some are mainly geared towards Apple electronics, a quick search can bring up a whole suite of websites with the socially responsible goal of finding new homes for phones that could otherwise end up in a landfill.



Artists have been using recycled cell phones as a new media to highlight both technological progress and the excessive waste of electronics. Photographs by Rob Pettit (at left) communicate the proliferation of mass manufactured cell phones and a fossilized version of an early Motorola phone doesn’t seem like a long stretch. Try collecting some old phones for your own personal art display, or lock away your current model, which is sure to become somewhat of an antique in a decade. 

On another note, there's no need for reception in the wilderness for an old cell phone to help you survive. Use this guide to help you learn how to catch small game with your old companion.


Take this opportunity to feel even better about your new purchase by helping others communicate freely too! Ranging from African Health Workers to US soldiers, organizations supporting hardworking people are always in need of new phones. You can even help those in need within your community by donating cell phones to charity organizations such as the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

 Can’t afford a new phone? Keep your cell phone that still works just fine, brag about it online, and save up money for the next iPhone.