The mobile manufacturing process represents a giant source of carbon emissions. What can we do to make a difference?

We see the evidence all around us day in and day out: pollution has gotten out of control. No matter where you live, the quality of the air is not what it was even a few short decades ago, and in more and more cities worldwide, you are more likely to run into a landfill than you are a hiking trail. While the causes of this global pollution are numerous, one cause in particular has spiked over the last couple of years.


It's mobile phones.


Yes, mobile phones have become a serious danger to our environment, their plastic and metal parts ending up buried beneath our ground as waste, where they will remain intact for centuries to come, leaking potential toxins into our soil and creating untold challenges for all our descendants. It is not only their disposal that poses a danger to our planet, either. Simply manufacturing mobile phones in the first place emits carbon into our atmosphere, and by 2040, scientists predict that mobile phones will be the leading cause of carbon emissions within the tech industry [1].


Consider this: every time you buy a new phone, you are eating up as much energy as you would have if you had continued to use and charge your old phone for an entire decade [2]. This means that the people who need to buy every new phone model that comes out are using up exponentially more energy than the consumers who behave a little more eco-consciously, and if someone buys a new phone each year for ten years, they are using up a century's worth of energy relative to someone who had chosen instead to make their phone last.


There is another option, though. You are not stuck choosing between using the same phone for the rest of your life and harming the environment. By purchasing a refurbished phone, you can "have your cake and eat it too," affording yourself the luxury of a new phone (new to you) without contributing to the environmental damage inherent to new phone manufacturing.


On a large scale, the refurbished phone industry can curb mobile phone waste and mobile phone pollution, cutting back on the 65 million tons of waste that we are generating every year [3]. This is a sensible recycling process that solves two needs at once: people's need to replace their phones and our collective need to protect the planet. Whenever you buy a refurbished phone, you are making a real contribution to the fight against waste and pollution.


Although the statistics may seem to indicate that continued growth within the mobile phone industry will lead to more widespread damage to our environment, it is not too late to turn the tide. We can stand up for a better system, one in which we all take responsibility for our choices as consumers and decide to act in a way that is more in line with what we know to be right. Refurbished phones are the way forward.