6 Ways To Reuse Your Old Phone


Design ©Luke Aschenbrenner

Luke Aschenbrenner

These days, it seems as if new smartphones are being released every year, leaving many with a fully functional phone going unused after they upgrade. When old phones are thrown away, electronic waste causes many issues that we don’t see. There are traces of arsenic and lead in e-waste, which could cause water pollution, damage to people’s blood and kidneys, and more if disposed into a landfill. Many times, e-waste is shipped to developing countries, where it is then burned for scrap by children living in poverty. Their job is very dangerous because of how toxic old technology really is. Recycling your phone is a good way to help aid this problem – but it turns out there are a variety of different things you can do to make your life easier at little to no cost to you, simply reusing your old smartphone! Here are my picks for the best ways to repurpose your old phone:

  • Smartphone Security Camera

Want to see who’s in your room when you’re not at home? The app “Alfred Home Security Camera” transforms your old phone into a fully-fledged security camera! You are able to see a live video feed from your phone or computer wherever you are. It also functions as a motion detector and can be used to enable two-way voice chat to talk with someone on the other end of the video feed. This can be quite useful if you share a room or just want to know if anyone is snooping around.

Download Links: “Alfred Home Security Camera” for iOS and Android

  • Add a Dashcam to Your Car

As teens get on the roads for the first time, accidents are bound to happen. It can be a tough and expensive process for police or insurance companies to determine who was at fault, even with witnesses. But a dashcam could help bring everyone peace of mind, knowing that everything that happens while driving will be recorded. The apps even include your current speed on video, so if you get pulled over for speeding you can have proof if you, in fact, were not. Dashcam apps work best with a car charger and wall mount, which typically total at around $15.

Download Links: Dashcam Apps for iOS and Android

  • Make Your TV a Smart TV

If you have a TV just sitting around in your room and you like to watch movies and TV shows, it can be a hassle to plug in a laptop just to make your TV able to stream video. With an adapter like this (click here for Android), you can plug your old smartphone into your TV and use it to display whatever you want to watch with minimum hassle.

  • Add a Digital Photo Frame to Your Room

If you’ve taken a ton of pictures and want to display them somewhere, then turning your smartphone into a constant slideshow can be a good use for your old phone. If you want to mount it to your wall, you could also buy picture hanging strips for under $5 and can use them to attach your phone to the wall!

Download Links: Digital Photo Frame Apps for iOS and Android

  • Turn Your Phone Into a Makeshift GoPro!

Another neat way to use your old phone is to use it to capture the moments of your life where it would be too risky to bring your new smartphone to record. After all, it’s not going to be as big of a deal if your old phone breaks compared to your new one. You can find smartphone mounts for bikes, motorcycles, and more for anywhere between $10-$100. If you like to record while exploring but don’t want to shell out hundreds for a GoPro, this is a viable option.

  • Donate or Sell Your Old Phone!

There are many organizations that will put your old phone to good use: Medic Mobile, which gives cell phones to health workers in developing countries, Cell Phones For Soldiers, which helps Americans serving in the army have a way to contact their families and friends, and Rainforest Connection, which uses old cell phones to help track animal poaching and deforestation. Of course, these aren’t the only projects, there are so many others for a wide variety of causes! If you simply want to get some cash out of your old phone, you can see which places will accept your phone for the most money. If you don’t want to mail it or travel very far, you can also drop your phone off at an EcoATM in the Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville.

There you have it! No matter what you with your old phone besides throwing it away, you can be confident that you’re not contributing to e-waste, a huge growing problem for Americans. It’s very harmful to the environment and can so easily be avoided by breathing a second life into old tech, donating it, or even just recycling it.