Today, there is a different kind of wall in society, one that separates us into two separate ecosystems. On one side, a world that relies on old ways of production – processes that use and abuse the number of resources the earth holds. It’s a place where products generate carbon footprints which are above and beyond what is sustainable for the planet.
On the other side of the wall, a set of values that promote green ideas, green design, resourceful ideas that enter every part of the business, ideas that are more sustainable and more profitable, yet at the same time production practices that don’t impact and cause environmental damage on the Earth as a whole.
But what is all the fuss about surely a mobile phone can’t be that much of an environmental danger? Yes, they are. Mobiles can contain up to 1000 parts and 1.2 billion of them were sold in 2009, of which only 5% will be recycled. When you consider this, then the amount of resources and energy used in producing them becomes alarming.
Put simply, smartphones use up materials and cause environmental damage, mobile phones that are CO2 free create less damage.
But smartphones are the must-have tools of the 21st century. With every passing day they increase in their capability, in the last 10 years, they have changed a 1000 fold in what they can do. When you look at some of the future designs and what they promise to do within; communication, healthcare, mobile money, learning, entertainment – smartphones are truly improving our lives, changing how we live within the world about us.
‘Have the smartphone that you want’. However, choose a green mobile phone one comes with a reduced carbon footprint. One that considers the environment within its production and there are 100’s of phones that do this now. But what do you look for with so much choice?
Being able to recycle the handset is central to its ownership; there is no need for it to end up on a landfill site. So if it has some recycled plastic in its casing this would be a serious advantage.
Make sure the packaging that it comes in is 100% recycled and not the size of a shoebox. The box is only momentary, hand it back to the store, maybe they can reuse it or pass on the idea that the box is too big? Mobiles often come with a small encyclopedia for instructions. Send it back to the manufacturer. You can get the instructions from the manufacturer’s website.
Construction of the Berlin Wall began on August 13th 19611, and it was pulled down June 13th, 1990
When you power your mobile phone, switch off the charger as soon as the mobile phone is charged this will cut down the devices carbon footprint plus it will preserve the battery and extend its life. So just as JFK described we do have a choice! And in those earlier days, that concrete wall that seemed so insurmountable – in time it came down.
I believe that if enough people ask for greener design, greener innovation, greener processes that look to reduce any kind of wasting of resources. Then this present wall of old processes and the environmental challenges that come with it, it too can be broken down and greener ones more in concert with the Earth take their place.