Smartphones have become an extension of who we are and a device we can no longer function without. It is estimated that roughly around 3.5 billion people use a smartphone, that’s almost half the planet’s population. What is even more profound is the rate at which new smartphones are being released, with a new model being released almost every 18-months. This is starting to pose a huge environmental challenge due to the nature in which these smartphones are produced.

Manufacturing a smartphone requires the extraction of precious metals such as cobalt, gold, iron-ore or lithium, resulting in an immense amount of pollution being pumped into our environment. On a day-to-day basis, smartphones aren’t bad for the environment – it’s the manufacturing process where smartphones become harmful to the environment.

The impact

Smartphones are the largest producers of carbon emissions compared to other consumer electronics. They contain roughly 60 precious metals including gold, copper and silver. This requires the process of mining which is known to be extremely taxing on the environment. Not only is toxic waste leaked into our environment but the habitats of many animals are destroyed during this process too. In other words the exact device you’re holding scrolling through cute pictures of forest animals, might be destroying their natural homes.

Changing the narrative

The majority of people are aware that they have a duty to protect our planet and its inhabitants by doing our part through recycling our waste, choosing renewable alternatives and changing our consumption behaviour. Many corporate giants such as Coca-cola are looking towards environmentally friendly ways to alter their environmental impact. Through social media and public displays, we have managed to change the narrative around the harms of not recycling and all of us are a lot more conscious about how we consume products in a more earth-friendly way.

The same needs to be done towards our electronics. Many people are unaware that the devices they use to read climate change articles, are great contributors to the devastating phenomenon.

How can you make a difference

The solution to reducing your e-waste is quite simple: recycle your old electronics. Unlike recycling plastic you can actually make a quick buck and help the planet at the same time. Selling your pre-loved devices helps in reducing the manufacturing waste of that device by half.

If all of us start selling our old electronics and purchasing refurbished electronics, we’ll reduce the manufacturing rate at which these devices are produced and in turn reduce the devastating environmental effect of  manufacturing these goods.

You can head on over to flipphone.co.za and get an instant quote for your device and do your part in reducing your electronic waste.