Having moved a few days ago, I'm still wading through a sea of cardboard boxes, the contents of which I feel strangely detached to. There's nothing like moving to make you realize you've been harboring way, way too much stuff. In any case, inside one of the many boxes I opened and wished would simply go away was basically every cell phone my husband and I have ever owned and long since stopped using. But as it turns out, disposing of such electronics isn't that easy.
I'd of course heard of cell phone recycling and donation programs, but what I hadn't realized is how important it is to do even beyond just wanting to give back. Chucking your old tech gear in the trash actually has environmental repercussions. The batteries these things come equipped with are pretty toxic-and are made of the stuff that lingers in landfills, seeping into our soil and drinking water and into the air when burned in incinerators. Yikes.
I also didn't realize how easy it is to recycle your cell phones. I found this organization, The Wireless Alliance, which lets you print free pre-paid shipping labels on their website, so all you have to do is toss your unwanted gadgets in an envelope, slap on the label, and drop it in a mailbox. Once they receive the package, they take the reins and dispose of your old gear safely. How great and convenient is that?
For security's sake though, make sure to wipe down all the data on your old phone before you recycle it. To figure out the fastest, easiest way to do that, click on this link on recellular.com, which lets you input the manufacturer and model number of your phone, along with your email address, and then a minute or two later, you'll get specific instructions on how to delete all your personal info sent to your inbox. You can also find out how and where to donate your old cell locally using this link on the same site.