Green Speak – A Guide to Eco-Friendly Mobile Phones

There are numerous environmental concerns that come up when talking about our cell phones. First of all is the obvious issue that cell phones have a short life span; most of us use our mobile phones for only about a year before we want to get rid of the old one and upgrade to a new one. Secondly, these cell phones often aren’t recycled and so end up in landfills where they actually may create toxic reactions that can further damage the environment. These problems have been getting better in recent years as regulations are put into place which make it easier to be more eco-friendly with your phone. Despite this, it remains important that each individual take actions which help mitigate the environmental damage done by mobile phones.

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Nokia 3100 Evolve

What consumers can do about the problem:

There are four main things that each consumer can do in order to be a more eco-friendly mobile phone user:

1. Extend the life span of your phone as much as possible. Re-use or recycle the phone when you are done with it.
2. Support the development of eco-friendly mobile phones by supporting the few companies out there that are working on the development of these phones.
3. Choose mobile phone providers that have green practices. Even if they don’t have eco-friendly mobile phones available, the fact that they themselves are working on being environmentally kind helps reduce the impact of the problem.
4. Stay on top of green mobile phone news in order to continue changing your ways as new environmentally-friendly mobile phone options become available to you.

1. Green practices with your existing mobile phone:

The first thing that each consumer can do to be a bit greener is to work on extending the life of existing phones. Many of us find it necessary to get a brand new phone each time that our carrier comes out with one. Getting in the habit of waiting until we actually need a new mobile phone can significantly reduce the waste that is being created. When we do decide to get rid of our phones, we can do so through programs that re-use and recycle these phones in order to further limit their waste.

In addition to this, we can use our phones responsibly so that we don’t use more energy than is necessary, charging them only as needed and limiting our use of mobile broadband services. Solar-powered charging devices and energy-saving charging devices are rapidly beginning to hit the market. Eco-friendly consumers will pay the extra cost to get these gadgets and will reap the benefits in energy savings.

2. Buy eco-friendly phones:

There aren’t too many eco-friendly phones out on the market yet. However, hardware makers are beginning to consider making them because consumers are starting to show an interest in them. If you support this movement by purchasing the eco-friendly phones that are available, you can help to drive this industry and set the stage for more eco-friendly phones to be developed.

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Nokia Remade

Some of the eco-friendly phones that are available on the market today include:

Nokia’s ReMade. Nokia has just announced that it’s got a new phone available which is made from 100% recycled materials. Additionally, this phone has energy-saving graphics and other eco-friendly features.
Nokia 3110 Evolve (top). Although it’s not as great as the new release, Nokia has another eco-friendly phone on the market called the Nokia 3110 Evolve. It is made partially from renewable materials and it comes with an energy-saving charger.
- HTW S116 Solar Mobile Phone. This eco-friendly phone charges itself using solar power. Of course, that means that you have to carry it outside of your pocket so that it can see the sun but it’s a step in the right direction.
Atlas Kinetic Cell Phone. This phone is built entirely of aluminum and glass and gets power from built-in kinetic energy features. It’s a fairly simple phone but it could be the first model in a new type of green phone.

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Atlas Kinetic Cell Phone

3. Choose Green Mobile Phone Providers:

Even those phone companies which aren’t yet implementing eco-friendly phones may be using eco-friendly practices. For example, there are companies which use recycled packaging materials. There are also companies which offer energy-saving charging devices. Many companies practice recycling in their own headquarters; for example Vodafone Germany uses Ericsson’s energy-reducing cell technology. Some companies, such as Credo Mobile in the United States, offer a percentage of their proceeds to green non-profit organizations. Do your research into both phone makers and phone carriers in order to support those in your area which have the best practices.

4. Stay on top of green mobile phone news:

The more informed that you are about the green options that are out there for mobile phones, the better position you’ll be in to be a green phone user. News is coming out regularly which can assist you in achieving your green goals.

Some of the developing news to keep an eye on right now includes:

- Changes in e-waste recycling. For example, it was just announced that New York City is going to make e-waste recycling mandatory starting next year.
- Updated gadgets and technology. Not only should you be looking out for news about eco-friendly phones but you should also be eyeing announcements from your phone company about green charging devices.
- Biofuel news. Projects are underway to provide energy to mobile phone networks using biofuels. This is particularly good for rural areas around the world.

Summary

More and more people are interested in being environmentally-friendly to the world around them without having to compromise their own way of life. You don’t have to get rid of your cell phone to get green. You just need to work on limiting your bad mobile phone habits and supporting the companies that are trying to make eco-friendly phones the way of the future.

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3 thoughts on “Green Speak – A Guide to Eco-Friendly Mobile Phones

  1. Thanks for this much needed info. I am concerned about the use of a material called coltan in the manufacture of mobile phones. I have heard that coltan is obtained almost entirely (if not totally) via mining in habitat crucial to the survival of orangutans thus causing serious environmental damage and destruction to this scarce habitat. I am particularly interested to know which phones – if any – avoid the use of coltan?…

  2. A very interesting article but no mention of the best time of day to charge your phone to save energy and a general length of time to fully charge a phone. Lots of people I know charge their phones overnight and I recently heard this was not energy efficient. Can you advise? thanks.

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