Almost everyone owns a mobile phone and it’s often the latest smartphone. On average, we replace our mobile phone every 15 months—even if it’s not necessary. Very few people care what happens to their old mobile phone. Few of us are aware of how much work actually goes into such a device.
Put simply: The phone is designed at the headquarters of the respective manufacturer. But the raw materials for the mobile phone come from different countries around the world. Cobalt for the battery, for example, is mined in the Congo. The working conditions there are often inhumane. The same often applies to assembly of the various phone components in China or India, where workers endure long days of monotonous work for poor pay.
The smartphones are then sold to us at a high price. We’re interested less in where they come from and more in always having the best and latest version. When we use these devices with awareness, we show respect for both nature and people, thanks to whom we can finally hold the finished product in our hands.
- Use your smartphone for as long as possible and get it repaired if you can. The best and only really environmentally friendly solution is to use a smartphone as long as possible.
- Give away or sell your smartphone when you no longer want it. You’re prolonging its life. Perhaps a family member or a friend would like it! Aid organisations are also grateful for mobile phone donations.
- If your smartphone really is no longer usable, make sure you recycle it or dispose of it properly.