Three Beautiful Ways To Recycle Your Computer

E-waste is a huge problem, but recycling doesn’t just have to mean finding the nearest place that can dispose of your computer carefully. There are more whimsical options.


If you want to get rid of an old computer, you can take it to Best Buy or Staples. But if you want to be absolutely sure that you won’t be poisoning Chinese villagers, you’re better off recycling it yourself. And if your old computer happens to be an iMac G3, there are ways–fun, beautiful ways–to do that. Here are three of the best:


1: Cat beds

“An iMac we can all afford!” is how Aimee Husberg describes it. The Atomic Attic Etsy store she runs with Miles Harrison sells them alongside a number of other “upcycled” items. Husberg says it started with vintage TVs. “The G3 iMac was the next logical step,” she says. “Technologically obsolete, yet still stunning as ever.”

2: Lamps

With colors like indigo, sage, and raspberry, the G3 is just asking to have light shined through it. To light an entire room, though, you’ll need more than one. Travel company G Adventures ordered their’s online. PR manager Timothy Chan writes us: “Built by in-house designer Evert Lamb during a sick day, the iMac lamps fit in perfectly with the Steve Jobs Room, created to embody the aesthetic of Apple products–simple, clean, and functional.” If you’re going for simple and clean, make sure to steer clear G3s with the tie-dye “Flower Power” treatment.

3: Aquariums

This is an advanced technique that may best be left to professionals like Jake Harms. He says he’s built approximately 400 “Macquariums” over the years. “The most difficult thing about making them is getting the iMacs,” he says. “Over the past few years they are becoming harder and harder for me to find and I have to travel further to get them or pay to have them shipped to me.” But if he’s short on G3s and you don’t have one of your own to recycle, you can always buy one of his clocks, made from an eMac disc drive tray cover.

About the author

Stan Alcorn is a print, radio and video journalist, regularly reporting for WNYC and NPR. He grew up in New Mexico.