In the U.S. alone, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that in 2010 there were a total of 423,000 tons of computers that were disposed of. Of this amount, 255,000 tons were added to the landfills and 168,000 tons were recycled.
This is only a recycling rate of 40%. This doesn’t even account for monitors, keyboards or other parts.
Throwing out an old, outdated computer doesn’t necessarily always have to happen, though. If you like to tinker with technology or have a junior technician in the midst, consider doing a modification project.
Check out the following computer mods that give the look of a tired old system a major uplift.
If you do have an older, usused computer, consider upcycling it. Children who are just starting to learn about computers would probably love to have a cool mod to play around on. CaseModGod has numerous mod adventures. Activities like recycling your computer let you literally trash a boring PC.
MusicRadar has a list of 39 steampunk computer mods for PCs, Mac and Victorian era enthusiasts.
For one example, you can go from this:
…but only if you have lots of time and supplies.
This video from The Steampunk Workshop shows you how to cut an LCD monitor with a table saw (not recommended, though, unless you really know what you are doing).
Want to revamp an ugly keyboard? Instructables has all the steps to fashion a steampunk keyboard.
Musically inclined? DIYfreak has an idea for a drum PC mod that rocks.
Total Geekdom has a tutorial for building a “bio” computer to green up a workspace. While obviously water and electricity doesn’t mix, it supposedly helps grow plants by utilizing the excess heat put off from the workstation.
For other electronics recycling projects, Hack n Mod has ideas and instructions for reviving old equipment, including do it yourself projects like circuit board furniture, art and other uses for old electronics.
Giving timeworn technology a new look is a creative way to make it last a little longer.
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