Do you have any old laptops, desktops computers, or mobile devices just sitting around your home? It can be tempting to reduce the clutter in your life by simply tossing them out. Doing so, however, could do some serious harm to the environment (or your wallet, if the wrong people get ahold of your computer!). There are many more eco-friendly and cost effective options available to you.

Here are our reasons why you should consider recycling, fixing, or donating your devices instead of tossing them:

Some components may be harmful to the environment. Elements like arsenic, lead, cadmium, beryllium, and mercury may be found in some tech and can be extremely harmful to the environment if they end up in a landfill. If you’re still determined to get rid of your computer instead of keeping it, drop it off at a location that specializes in recycling electronics, like Staples, OfficeMax, or Best Buy.

You could be putting your data at risk.

When you toss your computer without making sure it’s been properly wiped, hackers may have unfettered access to your personal/financial data. If your computer is still functioning properly but you’d just like to upgrade, you may want to consider keeping it in the family by passing it on to a parent, sibling, or child with less need for a high functioning device.

Upgrading or fixing your computer is much more cost effective than pitching it and buying a new one. More often than not, it is only one part of a machine that goes bad, not the entire thing. A new battery or power supply may be all that’s needed to bring a dead computer back to life. Or if your device is beginning to slow down, adding more memory or switching your traditional hard drive out for a solid state drive can get it running like new again.

A non profit organization may be able to make use of it.

If your computer is 3-4 years old or less, there’s a good chance that a local charity or non-profit organization would be able to make good use of it. Again, make sure your computer has been properly wiped of your information before you give it away.

You might be able to sell it for something instead. Even if it’s only $50-100, a little something is better than nothing!

During this holiday seasons, you may find you’ve been given a new device, or you’ve decided to buy one for yourself. Before you toss your previous model, keep in mind all the alternatives available to you. Coulson Technologies is here to help, so you can donate, recycle or sell them with confidence.