What to do with old phones, cameras, laptops and tablets

Electronic waste A much bigger problem, which is getting worse: We are now generating 21 percent more e-waste globally than we were five years ago. When it comes to gadgets like a phone, your brand new model will likely reduce in a year, and sometimes it doesn’t.

This is why whenever something new comes you are worth thinking twice with your old gadgets. You may be surprised at how many ways you can remodel a piece of old hardware, even if it is several years old and has been too slow to properly perform its original function.

These are some of our favorite ideas, but there are many more – with a little imagination, you may be able to try something new.

Turn on an old phone or tablet in a security camera

When a smartphone has underlined its usefulness, do not toss it. There are a lot of working techs who can fulfill other roles. One of these roles is as a security camera, providing an always-on video feed that you can tap from anywhere else in the world using another phone.

You will need some kind of tripod or mount to install it, unless you want something creative with books and jewelery. You will also need some software: both Android and iOS for the job provide many things and Alfred for the app, and there are others. It is simply a question of installing the relevant app and following the instructions.

This definitely works for tablets, although they can be a bit difficult to install and due to the extra size in the situation. Keep in mind that many phones and tablets are now waterproof, so it can also work outdoors — although the mobile device of your choice must be connected to the power supply at all times.

Turn on an old phone or tablet in a media remote

Over the years we have seen new wireless streaming protocols expand and expand in scope. Think about how many ways you now have to stream media wirelessly, including Apple Airplay, Google’s Chromecast system, the apps Sonos provides with its speakers, and more.

For your old phone or tablet this means that you can use it as a dedicated media remote or hub. Keep an old iPad next to your Apple TV ready for shows and movies, or an old Android tablet next to your Chromecast dongle for streaming Spotify or YouTube playlists.

This frees your phone from the job, which means reduced battery life, and also means that everyone in the family can pick up the device and start streaming, without login or lock screen Worried

Control your Spotify devices using a dedicated device.
David Nield via Spotify

Use an old laptop as a media center

On a related note, old laptops can be rebuilt as media centers, ready to stream around your home, storing your videos and music. This is a light task, so it conforms to older hardware, and means you can free up hard drive space on your brand new laptop as well.