What to do with old USB flash drives...

I often receive USB drives at press events, leaving me with an impressive, but useless collection. Don't get me wrong, these drives are very helpful to get images and company information instead of old-school print-outs, much greener. However, once I grab the info I then have no use for the thumb drive, at least not that many. Don't throw away those flash drives though - donate them!

RecycleUSB has teamed with Sugar Labs to recycle USB drives into a standalone computer system which can run from any computer. Simply wipe your drives clean and send them to RecycleUSB or you can send them to Thumbs Up for Homeless People.

I learned this tip from the fabulous handbook, How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Home, Community, and World - at No Cost! by Nicole Bouchard Boles. This book is filled with tips on how to donate and help causes without dipping into your wallet by using your family, computer, talents, belongings, time, trash, etc. So, using what you have and not what you earn.

In this book, I especially liked the idea of getting children involved and making them aware of causes by donating $ collected from a lemonade stand, saving pennies from their piggy bank for a charity, planting a tree, etc. I'd highly recommend this book as a resource for doing good without spending money. I definitely felt inspired after reading it and look forward to doing some of these tips with my family in the future.

You can also personalize thumb drives by decorating them with Washi Tape, nail polish or glitter and include them in Teacher Aprreciation gifts or donate to your child's school.

You can also trade them on Listia for something better! I've done this a few times now.

I also put a bunch of empty drives in a shoe box and sold them for $1 each at my last Garage Sale, and suprisingly all of them sold within the first two hours.

1 comment

  1. I love this idea. I have accumulated various usb drives from events over the years. I wipe out the original data and we keep them in a pile and then use them for us or friends.