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Electronics Recycling 101: How to recycle your old gadgets

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Although the world’s supply of electronic gadgets continues to rise each year, a tidal wave of manufactured junk e-waste is flooding our landfills and contaminating our soil and water. The more stuff we choose to have, the more stuff that we end up tossing out at the end.

The Stay-at-Home experiment due to COVID-19 has left electronic gadget shops looking just like the morning after Black Friday. Many electronic gadgets won’t ship from Amazon and other online companies until the end of April. And, sure, the latest $1500 Apple laptops and tablets can be yours ASAP. Still, this crisis has lots of people rethinking our wasteful consumer behavior to buy new gadgets and splurge.

So instead, to enhance that new home, office, classroom or yoga studio, why won’t you try what the gadget makers would alternatively we didn’t know?

So now, with Swiffer sheets in hand, time to resuscitate a few old tech gadgets!

Old Smartphones

Many of the tablet tips could be done to old smartphones, too. You could make your old iPhone 6 and turn it into an additional remote control device while protecting your personal data.

There is a large number of options, depending on how you mix and in shaping your digital devices. Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku have Android and iOS apps that aid wireless far off features.

One very important thing here is the ‘Disable iMessage.’ Of course, don’t forget other Apple services on these old gadgets. The last thing you need is continuously dinging pop-up messages.

Old Tablets

You could have an old 2nd-Generation Apple iPad from your loft. Probably the tablet is too slow to do anything. The first thing you could do is restore the iPad to factory settings. Save anything else that’s important first, then visit Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

On an older machine, there are downsides to it. In addition to leaving out the ultra-modern functionality, you can even miss security updates. Apple issues updates if it thinks they might be important for older devices. Apple issued a security patch to iOS 9 and 10 devices last year, for example. Android is much more complicated, as there are so many different models of smartphones and tablets. This Web page on Android security provides links to valuable tools.

There are lots of factors to do with an old iPad. Still, you can take that as a portable video-chat device that’s continuously equipped for FaceTime with your grandparents. You could also install Zoom, Google Hangouts, Messenger and WhatsApp, for additional video-chat alternatives.

Old Laptops

Did you realize your children have a Chromebook? Google’s Chrome OS has an open-source operating app known as Chromium OS, and it works well on computers with lesser horsepower than a tricycle.

Google is not promising to bring Chrome OS in on older machines. Nevertheless, a company called Neverware is offering CloudReady, a version of the Chromium operating system that runs a Chrome-like browser with all the Google network apps you’d need. As on newer Chromebooks, you just can’t run Android phones.

The great news: that new-computer scent is the single factor you’ll lack. The bad news here is, it takes some tech knowledge and about an hour to install the software program, and your antique laptop could be prone to security issues. Your 1,000-piece puzzle could wait, please.

The process requires a more modern Windows computer, Mac or Chromebook to load the software to an 8GB or larger USB drive. You install the software program on the old laptop after you undergo this manner.

Could you use it as your full-time device? Heck no. But for writing or easy web work, sure. Your biggest challenge? You could have a battery that barely holds a charge anymore, so you needed to cuddle up to the wall outlet.

Old TVs

That your old TV does not have a 4 K HDR display. Yet it could still make a fantastic second screen in your new home office. Only want the right dongles. You may need to send your MacBook Pro an HDMI-to-USB-C dongle to a 40-inch vintage Toshiba TV you have in the closet.