Written by Seth Legan, ESLLC 2017-2018
I want you to do something real quick: take your phone out of your pocket and look at it. There is a lot of power in your hand right now. You can take high quality pictures with the touch of a button, you can check emails, you can search the internet, but I bet you didn’t know you could better the environment with that phone. You could be environmentally friendly by just keeping your phone protected and recycling your phone instead of just throwing it in the trash. This seems like such a small scale and meaningless effort, but let me give you some numbers: around 140 million phones will be thrown away this year, only 14-17% of phones are recycled each year, and for every 42 phones recycled, enough energy is saved to power the average American household for an entire year. That is no meaningless impact, you could make a real difference by
After reading those statistics, I have two questions to ask regarding your environmentally friendly mobile phone usage. First, Is the screen cracked? If yes, You need to take care of your phone because cracked screens contribute a large amount of waste to landfills every year. If no, good job, you are not a part of the global butterfinger epidemic, give yourself a pat on the back(just not with the hand holding your phone). Using protection will save yourself money by not having to pay for another screen, it will make you a friend of the environment(not a bad friend to have if you ask me), and it will boost your self esteem while you laugh at all your friends for their cracked screens. And if you are one of those people that cannot seem to protect your phone despite whatever protection you use, there is one simple, cheap, and indestructible option: you could always buy a nokia brick phone, those things would survive a nuclear blast im pretty sure. Every little bit helps, and by protecting your screen, you can do your part to save the environment.
The second question is: how many phones have you had since you got your first phone? More than 5? 10? If so, you need to go back to the first question and reread it. I have broken, or washed my fair share of phones, but the thing with all of them is that they have been recycled. None of my phones have gone into the trash, they have been to a cell phone recycling facility where the usable parts are scraped and reused. Nearly all parts of a cell phone can be recycled, including the precious metals that are used to make the phone, the plastic shell, and the screen in it’s uncracked state obviously. Plus, recycling your phone is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than throwing it in the trash so really there is no downside. Countries like Canada have already began an effort to decrease their mobile phone footprint by offering a free, country-wide recycling program for it’s citizens, and are acting as leaders in the fight against mobile phones ending in the trash.