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Climate Climate Man-Made

How mobile phone addiction is linked to climate change?

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by: Hans van der Broek
How mobile phone addiction is linked to climate change?

Not long ago, only a few people could afford a cell phone. But today, even a kid who can barely talk, knows how to operate it. We are so engrossed in the unique numerous apps that we do not bother thinking about effect of them on our lives and environment. There is no denying that they connect us to the world where everything is advancing in glimpse of seconds, but have we ever considered the impacts of these wireless phones on the surroundings we live in? The aim of my writing is neither to go in depth of calculating carbon footprint of entire life cycle of mobile phone nor to address the issue of e-waste management. Rather, the prime focus is to make people conscious about their contribution for achieving global goals, by considering climate action as their key priority.
Man sitting on lorry with bags in Pakistan using his mobile
According to an estimate of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the number of mobile subscribers, in Pakistan, was 63.16 million in the year 2007, and the number escalated to 139.76 million in 2017. Most recent statistics confirm that up till August 2017, the total number of cellular subscribers reached up to 139.97 million. It is projected that the number of subscribers would reach to almost 157 million by year 2020, but, more can be anticipated. Moreover, tele density has reached to 71.81 % in 2017, as compared to 44.06 % in 2006-07.

Every time we intend to call, text or look for the updates on social networking apps, we add to the global carbon footprint. The amount of green house gases emitted, by using mobile phones, can be assessed as equivalent to emissions of millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide, annually.

Furthermore, the power consumption during the charging of phone is linked to global climate as well, as we heavily rely on fossil fuels for energy generation. The average power consumed in charging a mobile phone is between 3.68 watts, as per summary provided by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. However, if a mobile phone is completely charged but the charger remains plugged in, the power consumption declines to 2.24 watts.

Man on bicycle in the Netherlands using his mobile phone

In case, you are in a rush and without turning off the power of the charger you unplug your mobile phone , then the charger is going to consume 0.26 watts of power supply. Now as far as annual calculations are concerned, you can imagine the energy consumption and cost of charging a cell phone. Hence, more energy demand means more utilization of fossil fuels, and increased emission of green house gases.

We are believers of the fact that we cannot take initiative on our own unless supported by some government or private organisation. But, this must not be the case. We should strive, even if the impact seems insignificant at the start, the collective action is certainly going to make it ever lasting. So next time when you charge your mobile phone , consider its impact on environment!

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Hans van der Broek , founder Founder and CEO of WhatsOrb, world traveller, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Hans has countless ideas and has set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. He also has an opinion on everything and unlimited thoughts about how to create a better world. He likes hiking and has climbed numerous five-thousanders (mountain summits of at least 5000m or 16,404 feet in elevation)  
Hans van der Broek , founder Founder and CEO of WhatsOrb, world traveller, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Hans has countless ideas and has set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. He also has an opinion on everything and unlimited thoughts about how to create a better world. He likes hiking and has climbed numerous five-thousanders (mountain summits of at least 5000m or 16,404 feet in elevation)  
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