The rise of smartphones has naturally increased huge quantities of electronic waste. This e-waste comes under the category of hazardous solid waste and we can still see huge quantities of these electronic wastes in landfills that have dire consequences not only on human health but also on the environment. This is certainly a very alarming situation!
Your smartphone: Cost to our Earth
Mobile phones and smartphones are the most widely used devices and if we go by a survey conducted in 2019 a whopping 289.9 million mobile phones were sold in India itself. Considering that smartphones today are not only used for communication but for almost all activities like banking, social networking and even fitness activity tracking through downloadable applications, this statistic does not come as a surprise. But it is having a serious impact on the environment as it consumes a large quantity (almost 70kg) of natural resources to make a single smartphone.
Your mobile phone or any electronic device is made up of several metals that are present in small quantities. Extracting these metals increases the load on mining activities and also puts most of the metals under the endangered metals category. It was reported last year that in order to match our current demands for natural resources to make smartphones, we would need 1.75 equivalent Earths!
All the above clearly defines the need to have some effective eco-friendly initiatives in place as soon as possible to avoid the depletion of our natural metals. The best way to avoid the overproduction of smartphones is to minimize the need to upgrade your smartphone every year or two.
So, what can make your smartphone environment friendly?
A mobile phone that makes a low impact on the environment during its manufacturing is considered an eco-friendly smartphone. Some key points that make them sustainable are
- Parts of your gadget can be replaceable/repairable
- Parts should be made from recyclable materials
- Must emit low radiations
- Designed in such a way that it lasts longer than most smartphones do now
Not possessing a mobile phone is not an option anymore but there are some things you can do to limit the impact on the environment. I’ll explain
Low-Cost Energy Chargers
Do your part by purchasing a charger that requires less energy. This will not only reduce emissions into the environment but also save you your electricity cost. Find chargers that take 30mW or less energy. These chargers will also have a 5-star energy rating on them. It is believed that Graphene batteries are making their way into the market. These batteries have the capacity of charging your smartphone 5 times faster. This means that your phone battery will now require only 12-15 minutes to charge rather than an hour.
Buy Refurbished/Used Mobiles Phones
Let’s face it, newer versions or newer upgrades are constantly being released by brands and one is tempted to upgrade. One definitely gets tempted but you must refrain if your existing phone is not troubling you. If you still want to, purchase a refurbished version of it or sometimes you get great deals on used smartphones that are as good as new. This definitely helps reduce waste.
Encourage Environment-Friendly Companies
Encourage making purchases from brands or companies that are doing their bit to contribute towards an eco-friendly environment rather than putting stress on the earth. Most companies are now concentrating on eco-friendly designs of smartphones and a shout out to companies who are now environment conscious in their designs.
Shout out to several brands that are taking up initiatives to make their gadgets as eco-friendly as possible.
Brands put sustainability on their priority and are using materials like aluminium from ASI-certified vendors and plastic that are 100% recyclable.
Smartphones are now being manufactured in such a way that several parts can be easily taken out and repaired or replaced. First batteries were glued to phones and hence could not be removed resulting in the entire phone being disposed of. Batteries can be now easily removed and replaced without the need of disposing of the entire gadget.
Less Carbon Emission
Some companies have redesigned their manufacturing process in such a way that leads to producing less carbon and thus beneficial to the environment. Smartphones are now being packed with 50% less packaging and some models don’t even come with chargers.
We all know what an iPhone is. The iPhone has definitely been in the limelight for being a repairable and highly sustainable phone thus ensuring a longer use of your smartphone. The company Apple makes sure it keeps its older models also updated with software updates and thus improving their longevity. These phones also use an aluminium body that can be 100% recycled. Some companies also boast of using chemical-free materials that could otherwise be harmful to health.
Donate/Recycle Old phones
The best thing to do is Recycle them. It’s easy and simple. This will reduce a lot of stress on excess demand for smartphones and thus reduce stress on the environment too for its natural resources.
Having said the above, smartphones and other electronic gadgets are still considered significant contributors to polluting the environment today, but research is being conducted at a fast pace to find more economic friendly solutions that will have a lesser impact on the environment’s natural resources while making a single smartphone.
We also need to educate ourselves about the issue and work together to effect positive change. The only way to do it is to take small steps towards the goal. After all, we have one earth and no one wants to leave it!
Go Green Smartphones
Let’s look at some Smartphones that are environmentally friendly and sustainable in nature in India. Many smartphone brands are now paying attention to the way they are producing, shipping and packaging their devices. Although there are not many brand options for sustainable phones in the market, you will be surprised how many make the list. Top of the list is-
- iPhone 13 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Series
- Motorola Edge
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XtraCover XCQC is a mobile diagnostic & quality check solution that performs an in-depth analysis of a mobile device’s internal & external components and sensors and thus improves the longevity of your electronic device.
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