Mobile phones, inherently, seem like they can’t be environmentally friendly. From their manufacture using plastics, chemicals and other manmade materials to their rapid consumer turnover, mobile phones seem to be one key area of modern consumerism that is distinctly lacking in eco-credentials.
However, mobile phone manufacturers are capable of making their phones more environmentally friendly and we as consumers are also capable of attempting to make our phone using habits friendlier too. The difficulty for manufacturers is creating a mobile phone that is stylish, user-friendly, technologically advanced and environmentally friendly – and doesn’t cost the earth (financially speaking).
Many mobile phone manufacturers have investigated creating mobile phones from recycled post-consumer waste, like the Motorola W233 Renew made from recycled water bottles, or renewable resources – a bamboo mobile phone came on the market in 2008 and was even powered by human wind-up energy. Other mobile phones, like the Samsung E200 Eco phone, are created from bio plastics, helping to save a significant amount of carbon in comparison to traditional phone manufacture. Other notable strategies of technological development include solar-powered phones, which help save on electricity usage, and low-energy technology (such as LED lights).
When choosing either contract phones or PAYG phones, therefore, it’s important to check out what environmentally friendly measures the manufacturer is taking to ensure an ecologically sound product; investigate the manufacture processes, battery life and material composition before buying. If you already have a mobile phone, then using it efficiently will help to preserve both the phone and your energy bills. For example, many phones will use up a lot of battery in specific circumstances (like when using the internet) – try to keep your phone on low energy usage as much as possible to preserve the battery life. Keep the backlight low and only charge your phone when completely necessary, turning it off at night instead. Make sure you look after your phone to ensure that it doesn’t get destroyed too easily: no dropping it on the floor, in your pint, or getting it covered in dust. The easiest way to make sure your mobile phone is environmentally friendly is to be a conscious consumer and look after what you have in order to extend the product life.
Choosing an environmentally sound mobile phone is possible, especially as manufacturers are becoming more and more aware of the possible markets opening up to them in this arena. Shop around, choose your phone carefully, and then ensure you get the most use out of it as possible.