We love our computers, but not how often we have to replace them. Technology is moving so swiftly, that a brand new computer is obsolete in only two to three years. That means tons of replacement purchasing, and heaps of old devices and parts lying around. For those of us concerned with environmental sustainability, this seems like a great deal of waste. Thankfully, with a bit of creativity and time, you can find tons of fun uses for old computer parts. Of course, if the computer is still basically in working order, consider donating it to charity or putting it up on a freecycle site so someone less privileged can take advantage. But if your old laptop or desktop computer is basically just useless now, consider some of these creative ways to repurpose old computer parts.
For those green thumbs out there that really want to marry technology and nature, consider turning your old keyboard into a seedling starter. All you have to do is place bits of paper in between each of the plastic keys, and then top the paper with soil. Drop in whatever type of seeds you want to grow, and then carefully water them. As long as you don’t overwater, and keep the keyboard in a sunny area, before long you’ll see those seedlings sprout into tiny plants, ready for you to transfer to pots or the ground.
Petlovers with ageing computer monitors sitting around in their basement have everything they need to make their pets very happy and comfortable. Those large, out of date monitors can be turned into a snuggly home for your small dog or cat. Pull it apart to remove the glass, and then paint or decorate the outside in your favorite colors. Line the inside with padding and finish it off with a pet pillow or bed, and your furry best friend will be making it his new home in no time.
It may be hard to believe, but the crafty computer owner can actually transform some spare parts into a working clock. All you need is the hard drive, the PCBs, a disk platter with a mirrored finish, and a couple of add-ons. Find the hands and the numbers at a craft store, and decorate it with extras from the memory board. The hard drive has a clock function that will still work even if it’s not up to managing information anymore.
Are you a teacher with a classroom or work in an office lacking personal flair? You can easily create a pencil box just by gluing together pieces of the PCBs or even some left over floppy discs. Just cut them to size and glue them together at the corners, and it’s ready to go. The green color of the PCBs will also advertise your passion about green energy and recycling.
Want to add a technological showpiece to the outside of your home? Then consider turning your old desktop computer into a mailbox. Just pull out all the inner circuitry, the Cisco GLC-LH-SM and the disk readers, and slip the case around your current mailbox. Or you can fit a mailbox within the case itself. The same approach will also work for transforming the computer into a trash receptacle or even a bird feeder.