It's that time again. The first-generation technology is being replaced, and even some of the ecogeekiest folks in the world simply can't stand to have an outdated cell phone. So, if you simply can't stand the slow speeds and lower-cost service plan of your old first generation iPhone...what's the best way to dispose of it?
It turns out that there are a lot of answers to that question. Since we at EcoGeek are maniacally concerned about these things, we've decided to put together a list (in order of greenness) of what you can do with your old iPhone (and, by extension, most electronic devices.)
- Greenest: If it Ain't Broke...Don't Fix It
The new iPhone doesn't have any ecological advantages over the old one (it's not like it's solar powered...yet), so there's really no reason (from my perspective) to upgrade. Buying a new phone is simply creating a larger market for the resource intensive creation of electronics. So, in general, your greenest option is to keep using your current phone. Of course, if it is broken, you can use services like buymytronics.com, which will give you up to $90 for a busted iPhone (a price that would likely be higher if Apple didn't make the things so darned difficult to fix.)
Brett Mosely, CEO of Buymytronics says that Apple devices tend to hold onto value very well, "I don't think that the iPhone G1 market is going to drop out. It's still a solid phone... better than the competition. I think they'll drop a little, but will hold well for a while. They're still awesome phones."
- Greener: Give, Sell or Trade Locally
If you can avoid shipping your phone across the country to a new buyer, you absolutely should. Craigslist lets you sell or swap your phone locally. And you can get a good deal without the hassle of shipping. 16 GB iPhones in great condition are going for around $375 on Craigslist right now.
- Green: Sell Globally
If staying local and selling yourself is too much trouble for you, simpler options abound. The aforementioned buymytronics.com will give you $250 for an iPhone in good condition with minimal hassle. Other's providing the same service include Second Rotation ($235 for a used 16 gb iPhone) and CellPhoneTradeins.com ($210 for a used 16 GB iPhone.)
- Not Green: Recycle It
There are electronics recycling options available nowadays, and I heartily suggest you explore them for devices that are no longer in demand. But even if your iPhone was run over by a truck and then lit on fire, BuyMyTronics.com will still find a use for it, and pay you $10 to send it to them. Their CEO, Brett Mosely, says they once scavenged parts from an iPod Nano that had been run over by a tank in Iraq. And whatever they can't use is recycled by a basel-certified, local recycling facility.
Recycling is for devices that have outlived their useful lives. And, frankly, there isn't an iPhone in the world that has yet outlived it's useful life. So don't even think about recycling one of these puppies...it's a waste of money and resources.
And for those precious few ecogeeks who want to actually downgrade to a more environmentally friendly, low power option. You can actually sell your in-demand iPhone, and buy a green phone for far cheaper.
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