Keeping up with the latest in electronics is exhausting — not to mention expensive — and a lot of communities are left without resources to obtain what some might consider essential technology, such as computers. Meanwhile, consumers are rushing to buy the latest gadget, often leaving their older, functional models in the dust. That disconnect is what fuels Seattle-based nonprofit InterConnection.

Dedicated to providing accessible technology to those in need, InterConnection is known for equipping underserved communities with quality refurbished computer equipment to explore new learning models, communication concepts and technology skills.

A Staple for Success

InterConnection brings this much-needed equipment to all corners of the globe — to name a few examples, they aid disaster relief in Haiti, teach students in Mozambique, and support job training in New York. InterConnection’s programs benefit nonprofits and non-governmental agencies that often do not have access to computers, which are becoming a staple for success throughout the world.

One brilliant example of the charity of InterConnection is in the success of Studio Samuel, a nonprofit on a mission to support the education and empowerment of young women in Ethiopia. Students in one Studio Samuel program rely on the refurbished computers from InterConnection to learn a valuable trade: coding. This in-demand skill could launch these young women from a life of hardship to a positive future, and it’s all thanks to InterConnection.

Reuse: The Green Choice

Aside from their important contributions to humanity, InterConnection’s focus on refurbishment makes them as green as they come. Refurbishment is a form of reuse, which is arguably the planet’s crown jewel of eco-friendly practices. The reuse of a single computer prevents the production of 30 pounds of hazardous waste, saves 7,719 kilowatts of energy, and averts multiple forms of pollution.

Of course, recycling your old electronics is still a great way to keep your tech craze fit for the planet, though only 25 percent of electronics are recycled responsibly. The rest are thrown out, contributing to toxic environmental contamination by e-waste. So, when an item is sitting idle, reuse should be your first thought. If you can’t use it, consider donation.

The Giving Season

The approaching holiday season means many of us are beginning to purge our beloved-but-outdated items, making room for new holiday gifts to take their places. If you find yourself in such a situation, you can donate your used electronic equipment to InterConnection to benefit communities who can put your unused stuff to great use. Donate by taking advantage of the organization’s free mail-in or pick-up programs, or send a monetary donation to support the growth of InterConnection’s important programs (bonus: it’s all tax-deductible).

Your donation could end up teaching students in a nearby neighborhood or developing jobs on the other side of the world. If your old computer equipment is collecting dust and you no longer have a need for it, InterConnection knows someone who does!

Feature image courtesy of

Editor’s Note: Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. InterConnection is one of these partners.

By Lauren Murphy

Lauren has a B.S. in environmental science, a crafting addiction, and a love for all things Pacific Northwest. She writes from her cozy downtown apartment tucked in the very northwestern corner of the continental U.S. Lauren spends her time writing and focusing on a healthy, simple and sustainable lifestyle.