Photo: Angel Frankiln
Why Consider the Environment When Buying a New Phone?
Technology is always advancing. It’s always tempting to upgrade to the latest model of a phone when it becomes available. However, the environmental impact of phones is a growing concern.
With the increase in the use of smartphones, there has been an increase in demand for rare earth materials to produce these devices. They emit greenhouse gases when they are produced, mining, refining, and manufacturing. This has led to an increase of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere, which has had a negative effect on our environment.
In order to minimise your contribution to global e-waste and have a more sustainable relationship with devices, before you decide to make a purchase of a new one, pay attention to these steps:
1. Consider your need for a new phone
If your phone is still working just fine, spending money on a new one is unnecessary. You might have the feeling of needing a new one because your phone is not good enough or you are just bored of it. A great way to refresh your old phone and get it looking like new again is by changing your wallpaper, switching your home screen for a different one, or doing a factory reset and starting fresh.
The most sustainable phone is the one you already own.
You can also prolong the lifespan of your current phone and avoid buying another one by taking care of it properly. Cleaning it regularly, preventing dirt from accumulating on surfaces, protecting the screen with a display shield or eco-friendly case, and implementing better battery management habits, will help you to increase its lifespan.
However, remember that the most sustainable phone is the one you already own. You should only buy a new phone when you have a genuine need for one.
2. Pick from a refurbished phones range
If your smartphone has reached the end of its lifespan and is no longer functional, meaning you have a real need for a new one, purchasing a refurbished phone would be an excellent option to spend less money on a new phone.
Buying refurbished products is a better option for the environment.
They come with the same warranty as brand new ones and they undergo rigorous testing before being put on sale so you know that you’re getting a quality product.
In terms of sustainability, buying refurbished products is a better option for the environment because it means less waste. Manufacturers are able to reuse materials they have created to make new items which saves natural resources and reduces pollution.
3. Buying a brand new phone. What to consider?
For those who are considering buying a new phone but you decide not to go for a refurbished phone, it’s important to remember that when buying a brand new phone, you should always be well-informed and look into its environmental impact, such as its environmental credentials, its reparability or its carbon emissions.
- The environmental credentials of a phone are one of the most important things to consider when looking for a new device. They are determined by its materials, its manufacturing process, and how it is disposed of.
- A phone’s eco label can help you to make informed decisions when buying a new phone. It tells you how environmentally friendly the model is and what its impact on the environment will be.
In order to make a more informed decision, you need to consider not only the eco-rating but also its reparability. A phone with low repairability will have an even higher environmental footprint as it will need more materials and energy for production and recycling.The more easily you can repair your phone, the less waste you will create in the long run.
It is important to consider how much carbon dioxide emissions are generated by a product before buying it.
It is important to consider how much carbon dioxide emissions are generated by a product before buying it. When you buy a brand new phone, you are paying for the materials and labour needed to manufacture it, as well as the cost of shipping it to your home. This increases the carbon footprint.
Therefore, to make the sustainable choice, users can access this information by looking for the required certifications on the packaging and researching the company’s website.
The increased number of releases for mobile phones, and the marketing campaigns that come with them, perpetuate the need to upgrade your current phone. While a mobile phone’s environmental impact is significant, you should only get a new one when you have a genuine need for it.
Choosing from a refurbished range is the most sustainable option, but if you decide to go for a new one, always consider the phone’s environmental impact. Whatever your preference is, recycling your old phone will help ensure that it can be disposed of responsibly.