16. Keep it handy for emergencies
Any cell phone can make emergency calls, even if it's not connected to active service. Keep an old phone charged up and in your car or travel bag; if something bad happens and your active phone is either dead or unavailable, you'll still have a way to get through to 911.
17. Sell it
This one's easy, right? After all, what's old to you is new to someone else. You can go the regular route and list your device on Craigslist or eBay -- or you can check in with a more niche service like Gazelle or Glyde to get an instant estimated price for your device. Amazon and Best Buy also both offer buyback programs that are worth investigating.
Whatever you do, make sure you head into your phone's settings and perform a full factory reset on the device before passing it along. You may also want to remove any memory cards you've added into the gadget.
18. Donate it
Feeling philanthropic? Rest assured: There's no shortage of organizations ready to put your old device in the hands of someone who could really use it.
A few possibilities worth considering:
- Hopeline: Run by Verizon Wireless, this program refurbishes old unused phones and gives them to victims of domestic violence with a limited free calling and texting service. You can donate a device at any Verizon Wireless retail store or by requesting a prepaid mailing label.
- Cell Phones For Soldiers: This nonprofit organization sends old phones along with free international calling service to troops serving overseas from all branches of the U.S. military. You can donate a device by finding a local drop-off point or requesting a mailing label.
- Rainforest Connection: This nonprofit group utilizes old phones to protect threatened rainforests in Indonesia, Africa and the Amazon. How? The devices are fitted with solar panels for energy as well as specialized software that uses their microphones to monitor for the sound of illegal chainsawing and alert nearby rangers to the activity ( yes, really!). You can donate a device by mailing it into the organization's California headquarters.
So there you have it: 18 intriguing options for giving new life to your old device. Figure out which one best suits you -- and send those gadget-dwelling dust bunnies packing.
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