Features | 18 Mar 2024

Be greener and save cash: Donate or trade-in your old smartphone

Don’t throw away your old smartphone and not just because it’s Global Recycling Day – it could save you money or help a person in need.

In the excitement of getting a new smartphone, it’s easy to overlook your old one. It would be unwise to simply throw it away though. If we toss out old tech like smartphones and tablets, they often end up in landfills, where they can leak harmful chemicals into the soil and water. But by reusing old devices, both you and the planet can benefit. Here are some hassle-free options.

Donate: help someone in need

Give your old smartphone or tablet a new lease on life by donating it to Vodafone’s Great British Tech Appeal. Vodafone’s charity partner Barnardos will ensure your donated device will reach someone in need. Every recipient will also get free data, calls and texts for six months.

Trade-in: cash for your stash

Your old smartphone could help you save money on a new one. Use the Trade in Tool in the My Vodafone app to get an instant quote. You may be able to get credit towards your next device, cash or savings on your phone bill.

Where possible, traded-in phones are thoroughly refurbished and then resold. Keeping pre-loved phones in use for longer is just as important for the environment as recycling.

For every phone that’s either donated to the Great British Tech Appeal or traded-in, Vodafone will donate £1 to WWF conservation projects across the world. Of course, any donated or traded-in phones that can’t be reused will be responsibly recycled by Vodafone’s recycling partners. Recycling helps conserve valuable resources like metals and plastics, which can even be reused to make new products.

How to factory reset and donate your old smartphone

If you're worried about how to erase data and reset your old phone before donating it to the Great British Tech Appeal, use our handy guide for peace of mind and help digitally excluded people.

Fairphone: a more sustainable choice

When it’s time for a new handset, consider opting for a more sustainable choice. Fairphone 4 is designed with the planet in mind. If you keep and use a Fairphone 4 for five years, then CO2 emissions would be reduced by 31% compared to buying another new phone during the same time period. Fairphone 4 is therefore backed by a five-year warranty.

Fairphone 4 is truly built to last. It’s not only made from recycled and fairly, sustainably sourced materials. Its design also has eight easily swappable parts, so you can quickly replace them yourself if a fault ever occurs.

Plus, as expected, it’s also a modern, fully equipped smartphone like any other with long battery life, a multi-lens rear camera and a clean Android experience.

To mark Global Recycling Day 2024, you can get £228 off Fairphone 4 when you buy it through Vodafone. This offer is available from March 15 to April 4.