If you’re in the market for a new mobile phone or a new mobile phone provider, there are a couple things you might want to consider. According to the EPA, an estimated 2.25 million tons of highly toxic electronic waste ends up in landfills yearly. Also, some of the new phones are greener than others. Lastly, you might consider a SIM only upgrade if changing carriers.
So, what’s the best way to go green when upgrading your mobile equipment?
- Mobile Phone Recycling: If you’ve decided to purchase a new mobile phone, recycle the old one! Mobile phone recycling is one of the best ways to keep your old equipment out of the landfill. There are a few different ways you can do this.
- Sell your old mobile phone: There are websites for the purchase and sale of used phones like Reusetek used cell phones that can easily be found through a search engine. The companies will refurbish the phone and erase your data, and sell the phone, usually to someone in a developing country. You can cash in your old equipment, and make sure it ends up in the hands of someone who needs it who probably can’t afford something new and shiny. You can then use the cash towards your new purchase.
- Donate your old mobile phone: There are many charitable organizations that will accept a cell phone donation. A couple examples are Cell Phones for Soldiers and The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. You might also check and see if one of your local churches or civic groups collects old mobile phones for use by someone in need within your community.
- Recycle your mobile phone: Many of the big electronic chain stores have bins out where you can simply drop in your unwanted mobile phone. What could be easier? Radio Shack, Best Buy, Office Depot and Staples are some of the chains participating in mobile phone recycling programs. You might also consider using a local freecycle group, many of which can be found online through freecycle.org. Make sure you remove your Sim card before recycling.
- SIM Only Deals: If you are switching mobile service providers check to see if the mobile service providers you are considering offer a SIM only upgrade, which most of the larger carriers do these days. This will allow you to continue using the equipment you already own with your new service provider. SIM only deals are well suited to a smartphone you’ve already programmed to your liking may have an expensive phone such as an iPhone or Blackberry that you wish to keep and a new mobile phone might actually be a step backwards instead of forwards. Reusing your present handset uses fewer raw materials which is great for the environment and saves you money too.
- Buy Greener: When considering new phones, take these points into consideration and you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint, and helping to make the world a cleaner place.
- Consider energy use when buying a new phone: Does the phone you’re considering offer a charger that uses renewable energy such as solar or kinetic energy? You can also compare mobile phones online for their energy footprint and buy the one that uses the least energy when you need to charge using a power outlet.
- Consider the ecological track record of the manufacturer: Voting for a greener world with your wallet is the best way to ensure that companies will be encouraged to improve their manufacturing practices with the environment in mind.
What happened to your last mobile phone?