Did you know that the energy it takes to produce a cell phone is greater than all of the energy the phone will use during the average cell phone’s lifetime? Just Barber, a green warrior in the fight against unnecessary consumption of planet’s resources, has come up with a new concept for cell phone design, providing another option, in addition to recycling your old phones and purchasing refurbished cell phones, for doing your part in saving our planet.
Barber’s idea is to create a durable cell phone made of materials that are 85% recyclable, which is designed to facilitate constant internal upgrades as technologies improve. Although well intentioned, I don’t really see how Barber’s plan is really making much progress, unfortunately. The majority of the problem with cell phones, in terms of waste, lies in the constant need to update the internals of a phone as technology increases, which leads to the toxic materials from which the internals are made being thrown away and thus polluting the earth. The plastic housing of a cell phone is easily replaceable with greener materials; it’s the speed at which phones are becoming outdated that is the source of the problem.
Until we make a phone (or maybe Apple’s already made it) that can be constantly updated to keep with the break-neck speed of technological advancement, the best way to go green in the cellular world is purchase refurbished.