Throughout the years, computers have become essential for everyday life. Last year, many of us became dependent on computers for school and work due to the pandemic. With the constant outcome of new and better devices that benefit our life, you may be switching out your current devices regularly.
Most people replace electronics every few years, without worrying about the waste management consequences. Throwing a computer into a dumpster is not the best idea for various reasons. First, many states prohibit computers and other electronics from being thrown away because they will eventually be in landfills.
Electronics contain harmful chemicals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and more. The toxic chemicals then harm the environment by polluting the air, polluting the water, and polluting the soil that we use to grow vegetation. Instead of causing harm by dumping your old computer, here are five projects that you can make with old computer parts.
Ornaments from Computer Screen
Since Christmas is around the corner, you can recycle your computer screen by making ornaments for your Christmas tree! Underneath the LCD layer of the screen, you will find a few more layers that you can use for this project. Be sure to pick a sturdy layer because this project consists of cutting and possibly even drilling. Follow these steps to create your ornaments:
Cover the layer that you chose with masking tape. Be sure you cover the whole area where your ornament will be.
Get creative! Using a pen or marker, draw your ornament design on the masking tape. Designs that are too complicated may not work the best since you will be cutting out these designs.
Grab a pair of sturdy scissors and cut along the line to cut out your design. Once cut, use a piece of sandpaper to file it down to smooth out any uneven edges.
Remove the tape to reveal your ornament!
You can add a bit more fun to your ornament by attaching mini LED string lights to the front or back of the ornament to make them glow! If you plan on hanging the ornaments, simply drill a small hole at the top and loop a piece of string through it. If you just want to have them for display, you can grab a piece of wood and carve small slits into it for your ornaments to rest in. An even easier idea is to simply set them up resting against books on your bookshelf.
You can also buy computer ornaments from a small business if you’re not feeling the DIY vibe.
Each computer comes with about 70-100 keys. Among these, about 40 can be used to create fun magnets for your fridge. With these keys that contain letters, numbers, and some punctuation, you can create fun and inspiring messages. Your child can practice their spelling and simple math equations as well, even without the keys having magnets on the back.
Start off by popping out the keys of your keyboard. At a local hardware store or Amazon, you can find small magnets that are sold in packs. With a hot glue gun or super glue, attach a small magnet to each key and allow enough time to dry.
If you have a desktop computer rather than a laptop, the monitor can be used to give your pet a new hangout spot. Modern monitors are not as chunky as old monitors, and they won’t work with this project.
However, if you do have an outdated chunky monitor, start off by unscrewing the back of the monitor any taking out everything that is inside. Detach the screen as well and recycle everything that you can.
Screw on the back of the monitor to attach it to the front once again.
You now have an empty monitor for your pet to hang out in! Fill it with soft blankets and your pet’s favorite stuffed animals and toys. This is such a great project because it will also work as a decoration piece for your living space. You can even go a step further by painting the monitor a certain color to match the rest of your furniture!
Another cool project to make out of a chunky monitor is a fish tank. Similar to the pet bed, unscrew the back of the monitor and remove everything that is inside. This project may take more time as you will need to build your own fish tank.
Start off by measuring the inside of your computer monitor. These measurements will be useful when you build your fish tank.
Go to a local glass shop and pick out enough pieces of glass to make the 4 sides and the bottom of the tank. You may need to cut a few glass panes into smaller pieces if the glass shop doesn’t sell the exact sizes that you need.
Once the glass is cut, use silicon carbide sandpaper to remove the sharp edges of the glass. Then, apply acetone to a paper towel and clean all the edges of the glass panes.
Plan out the placements of each glass pane before beginning the assembly process. Once planned, place pieces of duct tape on the underside of the bottom pane, sticky side up, so that you can attach each glass pane to the bottom pane.
You may need the help of a partner for this step. Apply a line of silicone sealant to one of the edges of the bottom pane and attach one of the side panes. Once the second pane is attached, use duct tape to hold the panes together while the silicone dries.
Repeat the process until all sides of the tank are attached. For the next 24 hours, leave the tank alone so that you give the silicone the time to cure. Once the 24 are up, add water to the tank to ensure that it is completely sealed. Wait 12-24 hours before placing your aquatic animals into the tank, just to be sure.
Once you have confirmed that the tank is sealed, dump out the water and decorate your tank! Add in your favorite pebbles, moss, and plants to create the perfect home for your aquatic pets.
This last project is quite simple but it’s a cool way to show off your love for computers. The processor of the computer can be used to create a keychain!
Start off by removing the lid of the computer tower. There will be a CPU cooler that you need to unscrew and remove in order to get to the processor.
Remove any cables that are in the way as well and you should be able to see the processor. Once removed, use a damp cloth to remove any leftover paste on the processor.
Next, drill or hammer a hole into the processor in the spot where you want to add the chain. Sand down the area around the hole that may have lifted. Lastly, loop in the keychain ring, and you are done! Not only is this a great project for yourself, but it can also make a great gift for a friend!