These days, every electronic you buy seems to come with wires. And once you’ve hoarded an entire box of old USB cords, cell phone chargers, out-of-date hookups, and every other kind of cable imaginable, you might find yourself ready to bid the jumble goodbye. The question that remains is how to do it. Electronics are a huge source of pollution and often contain very non-environmentally friendly chemicals and substances, so the trash is definitely not the right place for this stuff. But there are plenty of things you can do with your cords and cables:
- Try family and friends—Before you do anything, ask people you know if they have any use for your old cables. USB and Ethernet cords in particular are always in demand, and my entire family uses cell phones with similar chargers. It’s worth asking.
- Visit Best Buy—The next place to try is your local electronics store. Many of them will accept and recycle old electronics, including your tangle of chargers and cords.
- Make some money—It’s very possible that your trash may be someone else’s treasure. Try selling your cables on eBay or craigslist, and if you happen to have the gadget that goes with the wire, even better!
- Donate it—Try sending your cables to your local Good Will or thrift store. Often this can lead to a tax write-off.
- Recycle them—E-waste recycling centers are popping up everywhere these days, and one of them might just be near you. Visit the Earth 911 website to find out.
- Check Google—There are lots of places around the U.S. that host e-waste recycling events and would be happy to take those pesky wires off your hands. Do some research online and see what’s happening in your area.
- Make a keychain?—I wasn’t really sure about the aesthetics of this one, but hey, why not? Check out idea #6 in this article to see what I mean.
For more on recyclable electronics and what to do with yours, check out my blog post on the subject. Here’s to going green and cutting the clutter!
Photo courtesy of rfranklinaz