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Greening your mobile tech this Earth Day

Greening your mobile tech this Earth Day

4/22/2014

Earth Day is fast approaching, and that means that millions of people around the world are taking the time to consider their own impact on the environment, and how they can reduce it. In many ways, this is easier said than done. Still, it is very possible for people to take relatively small steps that can ultimately have a big impact on the planet.

A good example of this is greening mobile tech. Mobile devices are increasingly contributing to the problem known as e-waste - discarded electronic devices that are filling up landfills. But by taking a number of important steps, individuals can help to combat this issue.

1. Choose green devices
One of the simplest steps toward greening your mobile tech is choosing environmentally sound products. A lot of device manufacturers now offer a variety of options in this capacity. For example, Manufacturing Digital reported that Nokia recently introduced a number of PVC-free products, including both mobile phones and accessories. The company also removed harmful flame retardants from its offerings. LG soon took similar action.

The news source also noted that the Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate and Replenish are both made with at least 80 percent recycled mobile phone materials and do not include PVC or environmentally unsound flame retardants, and the Micromax X259 is a mobile phone that actually runs on solar power.

Obviously, this is a relatively small sample compared to all of the smartphones and other mobile devices out there. As Manufacturing Digital noted, it is difficult for companies to find green alternatives to many of the metals and chemicals used to create these devices, but they do exist and are available for purchase. Considering the environmental benefits of choosing a green gadget, it is definitely worth looking into these and other, similar offerings when it's time to upgrade your phone.

2. Choose green accessories
While green mobile devices are still somewhat rare, there are plenty of green accessories available for purchase. Lots of companies offer environmentally sound products, meeting just about any accessory need. For example, the JuiceBar Portable Solar Charger uses solar power to charge a range of smartphones, and is both affordable and small enough to fit in your pocket. The same is also true of the Eton Mobius charger, except this accessory is specifically designed for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.

Even more common are green mobile phone cases, headphones and covers. By choosing these options, you can significantly reduce the negative environmental impact of your mobile tech.

3. Don't rush to upgrade
Another key way of reducing your contribution of e-waste is simply by using your mobile device for longer. The tendency to upgrade these devices frequently contributes significantly to the issue of e-waste, so using your phone for a few more months can help slow that process.

4. Don't throw your device away
When you do decide to get a new phone, though, it is absolutely critical that you don't simply throw the old device in the trash. This is how e-waste is created, and it can truly damage the environment. Instead, consider ProtectCELL's cell phone buyback program. ProtectCELL will pay you up to 50 percent of your phone's cost, so you'll be helping your wallet while also helping the planet.

And if you don't want to go the buyback route, you should definitely recycle your device. Many device retailers have programs in place wherein they will accept your old devices and send them to the appropriate facilities for recycling.

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