Good cameras are made to last for generations. But when it’s time to move on from that 6 megapixel point-and-shoot you bought years ago, don’t just toss it in the garbage.
There are plenty of creative uses for an old camera and lots of good recycling options available, so there’s no reason why your old gear should ever land in the trash bin.
- DIY It
Once you’ve got a new camera in your life and you’re no longer depending on the old one for pictures, consider the creative uses. If you’re not worried about potential damage, try a project like Photojojo’s Doggie Cam. Setting the family pet loose with your prized, one-and-only point-and-shoot might not be a great idea, but if you’ve already moved on why not get creative?
Of course, if the camera does incur some damage and it’s no longer useful, proceed to suggestion number five.
- Donate It
Local schools and programs like the Boys and Girls Club are often in need of equipment for their programs but rarely have room in the budget for even a basic point-and-shoot camera. Get in touch with a teacher or program coordinator and see if your old camera could be of use. Who knows, maybe you’ll create the next Ansel Adams.
- Convert It
Turn your point-and-shoot or DSLR over to a professional service (such as Digital Silver or LifePixel) and give it a new life as an infrared camera. If you’re adventurous, you can find step-by-step guides online (like this one at instructables) and do this yourself with the right equipment. Be sure to follow safety guidelines, and do understand that there’s no going back. If you choose to DIY, it’s possible to completely break your camera with very little effort.
- Trade It
If your camera isn’t too old, you may find some value in a trade-in. Best Buy and Amazon offer trade in programs, with some qualifications regarding the camera’s eligibility. There’s also the possibility of re-selling through Craigslist, just be sure to follow safety tips and the site’s terms and conditions. Be realistic about re-sale value, and do some research to find out what it’s currently available for online.
- Recycle It
This one’s a no-brainer. And thankfully, it’s easier than ever to safely dispose of your old electronics. Most camera manufacturers have some kind of recycling program or support an existing one, and stores like Best Buy offer electronics recycling at their retail locations. Follow the links below to find out more about your camera manufacturer’s recycling program.
Being green has never been easier. Do just a little bit of homework and it’s easy-peasy to find a recycling program or a new creative use for your camera. And check out all of our tips for going green in our Taking Technology Green special report.