Click Image to Enlarge. ”Cell phones” by Chris Jordan
Photographed at a landfill in Orlando, 2004
It’s the things we are most tied to that seem to be the worst for the environment. Cars, computers, cellphones…
Well some good things are coming out of this economic downturn. This week was the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Cell phone companies have been hit pretty hard in the current economy, so it seems they’ve been working on lots of green and low-cost innovations to entice us…
Motorola has come out with Renew – a cellphone made from recycled plastic bottles which can itself be recycled. The phone comes in 100% recycled packaging, and includes a prepaid envelope for you to send in your old mobile phone for recycling. Additionally, Motorola is paying to offset the carbon emissions from manufacturing, distributing, recycling, and using the phone. Motorola is calling this the first carbon neutral phone.
Samsung has just revealed Blue Earth, a solar-powered phone made from recycled plastic and “non-toxic” materials. It has lots of ways to reduce energy usage in “eco mode” and has a 5-star energy efficient charger. Plus it comes with “eco walk” – built-in pedometer that calculates how much CO2 emissions you reduce by walking as opposed to driving. (I must say it’s kinda pretty, too – you know, for that extra enticement.)
Nokia has come out with several “green” applications for its phones – including ones where you can offset your CO2 emissions – and they are running a competition to make the best environmentally-oriented application.
But the highest impact change is this: 17 of the world’s largest cellphone companies have joined together and signed an agreement that a majority of new handset models will include a universal charger by January 1, 2012. That means no more having to throw or give away your charger when your phone dies!
Does that sound like a small change? Last year an estimated 1.2 billion cell phones were sold, along with between 51,000 and 82,000 tonnes of chargers. That’s a lot of garbage for our landfills, and a whole lot of wasted resources. It is estimated that “the standardization of cellphone chargers could cut energy consumption by as much as 50 per cent globally and could reduce greenhouse gases by as much as 13.6 to 21.8 million tonnes per year.”
Click Image to Enlarge. ”Cell phone chargers” by Chris Jordan
Photographed at a landfill in Atlanta, 2004
Little changes add up. As we said earlier this week, one step at a time can add up to make a large impact!