When we think about the many technologies of the future, are we considering whether they are becoming more sustainable and Eco-friendly?

If you are anything like me, you are the sad owner of a cell phone graveyard. A drawer filled with the technology I no longer use; ancient iPods, my first flip phone, and years of cracked iPhones. I’m not proud of this drawer, but honestly, I just don’t know what to do with it! Fixing them feels impossible, throwing them away seems wrong, so what are we to do?

Sure, recycling cell phones is an option (don’t worry, we’ll help you with that later in the article), but is that really a long term solution?

Small electronics like cell phones are an enormous contributor to the waste stream and greenhouse gas emissions, yet we rarely hear about how these kinds of technologies are becoming more sustainable. We have greener cleaning products, more efficient cars, even recycled toilet paper, but so little of our time is spent thinking about the impact the technologies we use every day have on the planet.

Luckily, there are people who are aware of this problem and are finding innovative ways to change the way we use, think about, and recycle our technology.

Here’s the YouTube Channel Vox, with some good news about the future, and what we can do with that graveyard drawer!

Via: Vox 1

A Greener Future Beyond Recycling Cell Phones…

If you are in the U.S. or Canada you can check out Gazelle or Call 2 Recycle, the two resources they mentioned in the video. And if you live elsewhere, you can probably find a technology recycling solution by trying a quick Google search for e-waste recycling in your area.

We’ve talked about creative ways that people are re-purposing technology on Ever Widening Circles (EWC) before, and one of my favorite examples is the organization Rainforest Connection that uses old cell phones to help protect the rainforest. I have to admit, though, until I watched today’s video, I didn’t quite grasp the enormous impact our e-waste has on the environment.

As is so often the case, it’s easy to overlook the simple ways we can help to contribute to a brighter collective future. As consumers, though, we have the power to change the way companies operate. By remaining informed about the broader impact our buying choices have, we can help to support businesses that have a positive environmental and social impact.

Being informed also helps us reduce our waste overall! Simple things like repairing or buying our clothes second hand, recycling our plastics, or supporting green energy become second nature.

Most of all, we are fortunate enough live in an era where being a responsible steward of the planet can start with a simple Google search.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

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Notes:

  1. “Why Your Old Phones Collect in a Junk Drawer of Sadness.”YouTube. Vox, 03 May 2017. Web. 13 June 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyUqqA8wA0A>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—yoga lover. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV