So the new “QPhone” 12 is out and I have a perfectly fine Qphone 7 but those ads make the new phone look oh so sexy. I mean this one can add bubble effects to my pictures! Who can top that? It’s only 999.99 for the plain one. With monthly payments I could pay it off in 2 years and 3 days!
Oh whoa- not so fast. Cell phones are an environmental nightmare. Maybe I should just hold on to my old one. I could do a cell phone makeover for $75 and then have enough money to donate to people who have lost their jobs from the pandemic or all their possessions from the forest fires and not add more pollution to the planet!!!
Option B -Cell phone makeover
New battery– Amazon replacement kit $25
New Case– $30 (Amazon has some great ones for under $20)
New screen protectors– $15
Generous total– (You can do this cheaper if you shop around) $70
The fact is that to produce a cell phone takes a tremendous amount of carbon to produce considering extraction of materials, rare metals, production and the pollution that comes from that. Then there is the nasty business of disposal. Only 1%of cell phones are recycled leaving the rest to pollute the environment as they are tossed out. Then there’s the additional cloud computing infrastructure to support all the new fancy apps
According to this article on Fast Company…
“With a two-year average life cycle, cell phones are more or less disposable. The problem is that building a new smartphone–and specifically, mining the rare materials inside them–represents 85% to 95% of the device’s total CO2 emissions for two years. That means buying one new phone takes as much energy as recharging and operating a smartphone for an entire decade.”
According to an article in computer world, the touted faster speed of the new Iphone 12 would be barely detectable to the average user and by the way- we are going fast enough already.
So if you are thinking of upgrading- don’t unless you have no other options. You would be just fine doing a makeover on your old one. Think green, save some money, help others.
For detailed article on this subject click here.