5 ways to transform your old smartphone into something new

Sculpture made from electronic trash. Photo: Amanda de la Rosa
Sculpture made from electronic trash. Photo: Amanda de la Rosa

Take a look in your drawer at home. It’s likely you’ll have a hidden stash of old phones, just sitting there taking up space. Indeed, according to a recent survey conducted by Greenpeace East Asia, in the US people own on average three phones in their house, while in South Korea the average is four and in Mexico up to five (both used and unused)!

Wouldn’t it be better if instead of sitting in your drawer those phones could be transformed into something useful or inspiring? Apart from encouraging our favourite brands to recycle our old gadgets, here are some really cool ways you can repurpose your old phone!

1) Repair it and give it away!

Get over your fear of opening your phone and start repairing – it’s easier than you think! Watch this tutorial for iPhone 6 below & check out iFixit’s huge resource of repair tutorials.

2) Repurpose it!

Turn your old phone with a camera into a baby monitor or even a security camera with a simple app. Watch to find out how:

3) Help science!

Use your old Android device to help study diseases, predict global warming or even discover pulsars! Download BOINC, an app made at UC Berkeley that harnesses the power of your old device for scientific research!

The BOINC app

4) Art attack it!

Many artists can transform your old electronics into amazing art. Check out this piece from MexicanAmanda de la Rosa! Why not get creative?

Sculpture made from electronic trash. Photo: Amanda de la Rosa
Sculpture made from electronic trash. Photo: Amanda de la Rosa

5) Use it as a backup phone!

Put a SIM into your old phone and take it on holiday with you, or take it to a festival where you might lose or break your new phone!

Use an old phone as a backup. Photo: photobyphotoboy
Use an old phone as a backup. Photo: photobyphotoboy

Greenpeace is embarking on a new campaign to challenge the electronics sector to give us truly innovative gadgets: designed to last, repairable, toxic-free, made with renewable energy and recyclable. Want to be part of a movement that will define the gadgets of the future? Join the#TrueInnovation team and be part of the change!

Robin Perkins is the Detox Programme Leader at Greenpeace México

Got any more amazing tips or hacks for old smartphones? Leave them in the comments below.