Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What is My Old Cell Phone Worth?

Technology is changing the way we use cell phones. It is also causing people to change their cell phones every 18 months. This means that there are many old cell phones lying around in people's drawers taking up space. If people have thrown out these phones, they have contributed to adding harmful chemicals to the Earth's surface. Lead and mercury are a few of the toxic chemicals found in cell phones that could damage the environment if thrown out inappropriately. If you are one of those people who have a few cell phones lying around, then you should be a good citizen and donate them to charity.

Some people would like to sell them and earn money, but they are not going to get back the same amount they paid. Why would someone want to sell their phone for a few dollars when they can make a difference in the world instead? There are hundreds of organizations that collect working and nonworking cell phones to donate to people who are in need of them. You are sure to find one of them in your area.

Phones 4 Charity is an organization that collects used cell phones, recycles them and donates the proceeds to one of their affiliated charities. AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Feed the Children, National Wildlife Federation, Give 2 The Troops and CORA, an organization for battered women and children, are some of the organizations that Phones 4 Charity works with. If you are interested in having a cell phone drive and want to donate those proceeds to Phones 4 Charity, contact them through their website and fill out the form. They will contact you with information on how you can help give back.

Many old cell phones can be reprogrammed and given to people who are in desperately need of them. For example, women who are in battered shelters can be given emergency cell phones to contact 911 or their supporter. Their husbands or boyfriends will not be able to track their phones, making them safe and out of harm’s way until they can get back on their feet. There are many women who live in violent atmospheres, but there are many organizations out there to help, and they start with a cell phone.

When you donate your used cell phone, you are also helping out your troops. These phones are given to the men and women serving overseas to stay in contact with their friends and family. If you don't have a relative overseas, imagine the joy of a child hearing his father's voice from overseas because you were able to give up your cell phone. It's the least an American citizen can do for the soldiers serving and protecting their country overseas.

Some businesses like Best Buy, Radio Shack and Lowes have a cell phone recycling bin in their stores. The contents of the cell phone will be disposed of properly and not harm the environment. Phones 4 Charity has many recycling bins nationwide. Their proceeds benefit many Red Cross chapters. Visit their website to find a drop box location near you to donate your used cell phone. Cell phones can also be given to senior citizens who live alone or suffer from abuse. There are some organizations that take these cell phones, fix them up, sell them and donate the proceeds to organizations in need of funds for research and other services.

Your cell phone is worth more to someone else than to you. Encourage your family and friends to donate their used cell phones to help people in developing worlds and many people around you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Reasons to Recycle Old Cell Phones

We live in a fast-paced world where the cell phone is an intrinsic part of life. There are more than five billion cell phone users in the world today, meaning that more than 70% of all people on the planet have some manner of cell phone.

In this disposable age, most of these people likely won't think twice about replacing an old cell phone with a newer, sleeker model featuring all the latest applications. With the constant influx of new models and the pace of innovation, today's average phone has a lifetime of just 18 months before its user decides to move on to something new. It's believed that there are more than 800 million obsolete cell phones in our homes and workplaces, forgotten in desks and drawers after being replaced, waiting to be disposed of. What will become of these old phones?

Every year, discarded cell phones add up to nearly 65,000 tons of toxic waste. Toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, beryllium, and cadmium can be found in some phone models and their batteries. The durable plastics encasing them may contain brominated flame retardants, which persist in the environment and build up over time. Without proper recycling these elements can create environmental safety concerns, leaching into the soil and potentially making their way into our drinking water. More than two million cell phones every single week end up in landfills. In the time it will take to read this article, another three hundred cell phones will be thrown away.

But there's another option. Donating your used, unwanted, and otherwise forgotten phones to Phones 4 Charity stops the cycle of waste, and the benefits go far beyond the environment.

Such simple notions as technology and connectivity can be taken for granted, but in some parts of the world, something so basic as an old, used cell phone can mean the difference between getting much-needed assistance or going without. In places where land lines don't reach, these phones offer more than hope. They offer the ability to connect, provide opportunities, and can even save lives.

Additionally, these phones can be recycled and put to a new use by re-purposing the components into new items. The precious metals such as gold and copper can be extracted for jewelry and manufacturing purposes, the circuitry can be reused. Even the tiniest wires can be used in the recreation of new technologies. Such re-purposing means that new components don't need to be mined from the earth or built from scratch, conserving finite resources and further cutting down on pollution and the creation of more toxic products.

All of this means that no matter what the condition, whether the phone is last month's hottest model, last decade's big seller, non-functioning, or downright broken, it can have a new life by recycling through Phones 4 Charity. Recycling supports innovation, provides needy families with the ability to connect, and protects the environment. There's no reason not to.

Cell phone donations can help local charities, too. Phone collection drives can provide an opportunity for fundraising, and you can even list these cell phone donations as a tax deduction. It's time to open those drawers, pull out those forgotten phones, and turn them into something meaningful.