New life for old devices: 5 ways you can repurpose your outdated gadgets

We all do it. When we get a new device, we toss the old one in a drawer, there to languish till doomsday. Which, alarmingly, seems to grow closer all the time. And which is why we recently launched the CREDO Climate Project —to give you doable, difference-making ways to combat climate change.

But anyway, back to those old gadgets. Don’t mothball them, repurpose them. Here are five ways you can give new life to an outdated device.

Turn an old phone into a security camera

A lot of people buy a new phone because they want a better camera. But the camera in your old phone or tablet is still plenty good enough to serve a purpose. That purpose can be keeping an eye your home.

You can convert an old phone into a security camera in a few quick steps with an app like AlfredCamera or WardenCam. Just go to the App Store or Google Play and download the app to both the old device and your current phone.

Setup is easy and there are no monthly fees for the basic versions. Your old phone works as the camera, your new phone works as the monitor. You can view a live feed remotely to watch any space, observe a pet or monitor a child from another room.

Turn an old tablet into a media viewer or old phone into a music player

As our devices do more, their batteries need charging more often. To preserve the battery life on your new tablet, use an old tablet as a dedicated media player. Keep an outdated iPad next to your Apple TV or an Android tablet by your Chromecast dongle. An added plus is that anyone can watch without the hassle of logging in or unlocking the screen.

If you listen to a lot of music, audio books or podcasts, use an old phone to play them. This will save the battery on your new phone and keep it free of storage-consuming files, which will help it perform better.

Turn an old laptop into a media hub

When you run a lot of programs and store a lot of files on your laptop, it works more slowly. So repurpose an old laptop as a media hub. Store music and videos on it and stream them from there. This will ease the burden on your new laptop.

Turn an old phone into a GPS device

It’s not a good feeling to watch your phone die when you’re using it to find your way. If you’re out in the wild and your battery goes to 0%, so, often, does your hope of getting back home.

So repurpose an old phone to a dedicated GPS device and use it when you’re out hiking or biking. Because it is tasked with only that function, its charge will last longer.

Donate your old devices

Once they’re replaced, old devices usually don’t have a lot of value to their owners, which is why they end up in a drawer. But they do have value to a lot of nonprofit organizations, which can use your old devices to fund their causes.

Unfortunately, you can’t donate an outdated device directly to a nonprofit of your choice. They’re not set up to handle old devices. But you can use a service like GreenDrop, Cell4Pets or Recycling for Charities.

Here’s another way to support the nonprofits that are working for causes you believe in: join CREDO Mobile. Just by using our service, you’ll generate donations for nonprofit groups fighting to make our world a more sustainable, fair and equal place.

These donations cost you nothing extra. But they mean everything to the nonprofits we support. Since 1985, we’ve given over $94 million to progressive groups like Earthjustice, Planned Parenthood and the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund.

Join today and you’ll get the good feeling that comes with knowing you support the causes important to you just by using your phone. You’ll also get everything you want from a phone company: fast, friendly customer service and nationwide coverage on the top-rated, most reliable network.