Not that long ago I didn't even have a cell phone. I wanted to hold out as long as possible before purchasing a cell phone so I wouldn't be tied to a phone everywhere I went. Besides, I just couldn't imagine that I would ever need to make a phone call and not be close enough to a regular, land line phone. Or a pay phone, remember pay phones?
Even further back, I had a summer job in downtown Milwaukee as a sort of human fax machine. Yes, this was even before fax machines. I was a temporary worker for different offices, and I would take important documents from company to company, actually walking around downtown Milwaukee. Apparently this was cheaper than a courier service.
In 2014, we still have a fax machine in our office at Interfaith, although we don't hear the tell-tale high pitched tone very often any more. And yes, I do have a cell phone, a smart phone actually. Now I'm one of those people who uses her phone for emails, text messages, maps and directions, music, news, coupons, shopping lists, and more. (But never while driving, that's a rule that I intend to keep.)
So, what to do with the old electronics when we purchase or are given new devices? Well, The Women's Center in Waukesha takes old cell phones as donations, and turns them into needed revenue for their programs. Many local schools accept old cell phones too.
In Wisconsin we can also take advantage of a program called E-Cycle to responsibly recycle our old or unwanted electronics. According to Wired-Wisconsin " Since its inception, E-Cycle Wisconsin has kept more than 123 million pounds of electronics out of landfills. Last year, registered collectors throughout the state took in 38.8 million pounds of electronics – 6.8 pounds for every resident in Wisconsin." dnr.wi.gov/topic/Ecycle/wisconsin.html#tabx2 is a link to more information.