What do you do when your laptop has outlived its useful life? Well, this is a question I pondered for months as my office space was taken over by older laptops and computers. As we updated laptops and PCs at Foundant I accumulated many older, but still fully functional, pieces of computer equipment. As technology rapidly changes, we need higher end computer equipment to keep all the employees productive and provided with the best tools for their job.
We had a couple options for dealing with all of our used laptops: our environmentally conscious home of Bozeman, MT has many resources for recycling used equipment and keeping our planet green, I could sell them for beer money to keep the Foundant fridge stocked, or I could donate them and see that they were put to good use. For over a month, I researched places that donate computers to schools or families in need, tried to come up with ways to use these computers in the office, and even contemplated coming up with an employee program. But, how could we do the greatest good with this equipment? Employees already had nice laptops—the reason we had these older ones – and there was not much use for the equipment in the office because everyone is able to be so mobile.
We ultimately decided to donate our equipment to the Bozeman Area Community Foundation. Bridget Wilkinson, Foundation Executive Director, will keep a few pieces of equipment for her office, including one to replace her antique laptop with something newer. She’ll then distribute the remaining laptops to other area non-profits in need. Bridget said many of the local non-profits would benefit greatly from having extra computers for interns, or updated machines for their staff. She described her work laptop to me, and I left knowing that she would be more productive with the new equipment.
When you upgrade your computer, do not throw the old machine in the trash; check with community organizations or schools that might benefit from something newer. And, if it is too old, send it to a recycling center to keep it out of our landfills.