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Top tech to go green this year

Top tech to go green this year

4/1/2014

There are many simple changes that individuals can make to become more eco-friendly, and not all of them are as obvious as recycling or buying a hybrid vehicle. People might be surprised to find out that they can adapt their mobile habits to reduce their environmental impact.

Greenpeace International published a "Guide to Greener Electronics" report that studies the environmental friendliness of different smartphone models. Researchers examined the greenness of top tech firms like Apple, Sony and Samsung, but they found that the lesser known Wipro was the most eco-friendly business. The Indian electronics company scored exceptionally high on tests for product energy efficiency and clean electricity plans. Wipro also had an effective phone buy back policy, which can lead to greater sustainability through the recycling of phone materials.

Wipro might have an environmental edge over its big-name competitors, but Apple, Sony and Samsung also offer products that have been recognized as green-friendly. These three tech powerhouses each had phones that made it onto MensXP's list of the "Top 5 Eco-Friendly Smartphones in the World." 

Samsung Galaxy Ace and Captivate
Samsung's Galaxy Ace topped the list. MensXP reported that the firm encourages individuals to sell back used devices so some old parts can be used to create new products. The manufacturing of the Galaxy Ace, in particular, implements such green-friendly practices.

Captivate features the safest materials used in smartphone manufacturing, MensXP noted. The smartphone also has a relatively long battery life, helping owners save energy by using less electricity.

Apple iPhone 5 and 4S
​The iPhone 5 and 4S made MensXP's list at spots three and five, respectively. The 4S's design is optimized for minimal environmental impact, while the iPhone 5 takes Apple's green initiatives even further - MensXP pointed out that the tech firm uses an energy-efficient manufacturing process to make these devices. 

Green-centric mobile apps
In addition to buying eco-friendly smartphones, mobile users may want to consider installing apps to help them make greener choices. Here are a few of the apps that Living Green Magazine cited as among the best options for environmentally conscious individuals.

Carbon Footprint
This app allows car owners to measure their fuel usage and calculate other green-related driving statistics, such as miles per gallon, dollars per mile, dollars per gallon and dollars per day. Users can even see their projected annual carbon emissions total.

EcoCharge
EcoCharge is a great option for individuals looking to cut down on their electricity consumption. When a phone is fully charged, the app sounds an alarm to let users know that it's time to unplug the device. In addition, EcoCharge provides helpful insights regarding the most energy-efficient technologies.

Seafood Watch
Green-consumers looking to support sustainable food providers might find Seafood Watch to be advantageous, as the app helps users identify the greenest seafood and sushi options at restaurants. Additionally, green-minded individuals can help their colleagues by submitting recommendations for the best sustainable dining options in town.

Recyclebank
​Recyclebank gives users incentives to become more environmentally friendly. When individuals recycle, purchase green products or reduce their water consumption, they earn points that can be saved up to order rewards through the app.

Recyclebank users might be able to boost their points totals by selling back their old phones. This can be a great first step toward adopting a more eco-friendly mobile lifestyle. Not only does cell phone buyback facilitate green manufacturing processes, it can also help phone owners earn money toward a new investment. ProtectCELL will buy back cell phones from users who don't need them anymore, offering up to 50 percent back on first-year handsets and 25 percent back on devices 13 to 24 months old.

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