The Environmental Impacts to Consider When Selecting a Smartphone

By on March 28, 2018

These days it is rare to find someone who doesn’t own a smartphone. Sharing photos, sending messages and uploading videos has become an overwhelming part of our culture and a way to keep us connected. When a new phone is released, it is often a must-have item and the old phone you once loved suddenly seems like a prehistoric model. In 2017, the sales of smartphones were staggering, with 1.54 billion being purchased worldwide. With all this technology in our pockets, what does it mean for the environment?

Not all phones are created equally, and some have more of a negative impact on the planet than others. If you are in the market for a new smartphone but are conscious of your ecological footprint, then there are a few things you need to consider:

Is it Energy Efficient?

We all want a phone with longer battery life that takes less time to charge. In addition to this, choosing an energy-efficient design is going to be better for the planet, and better for your back pocket. These days you can even find designs which are solar powered, but for convenience, a device that is high on style and low on energy is the smartest choice.

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EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) is a handy website which allows you to compare electronics side by side, to determine their sustainability. Two examples of outstanding performers include the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8. They have both received a certificate from the Green Electronics Council and Underwriters Laboratories.

Is it Recycled or Recyclable?

Plastics and toxic materials are often used in the creation of smartphones, but some brands are becoming more conscious of the environment and are now using recycled parts wherever possible.

The best thing you can do is to buy a refurbished, or second-hand phone as this will equate to less landfill waste, while saving you money. If new is what your heart desires, donate your old phone and find a brand that cares about how its products are made. Brands will often include this information in their promotional material, or you may need to do a little research on the specific model.

How is it Manufactured?

It is important to consider how a product is made, and the process it goes through before it hits the shelves. Companies who treat their staff poorly and are responsible for pollution are always going to put profits ahead of the planet. Many devices are now cheaper to replace than to repair, so choose a brand that has replaceable parts without any astronomical out-of-pocket expenses. Consider how easily the screen can be fixed, a battery can be replaced, or the software can be updated. When it is simple to repair your smartphone you won’t feel as though you have to replace it as often.

Less Is More

These days, smartphones are becoming so technologically savvy that they are replacing larger items such as computers and laptops. When you choose a phone that is capable of everything you need, you will eliminate the need for excessive use of multiple devices.

A smartphone is worth investing in, but choosing one that will last, has all the functionality you need and is also made with the planet in mind can ensure you have made the right choice.

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The Environmental Impacts to Consider When Selecting a Smartphone