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Community why smart phones are killing our planet | Upload Lifestyle

Why Smart Phones Are Killing Our Planet

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by: Sharai Hoekema
why smart phones are killing our planet | Upload

While millennials and generation Z-ers are currently letting their voices be heard in an attempt to sway world leaders to finally take real action against climate change, there is one thing that they are not really acknowledging yet. In an ironic twist, the smart phones that they are using to capture their protest attempts with, turn out to be a major contributor to the destruction of our planet.

Smart Phones Excessive And Unnecessary Waste

There are several reasons why our iPhones 10, Samsung Galaxies and whatnots are so harmful to the environment. These include dangerous mining practices required for its components, the use of dangerous chemicals, and the difficulty of proper recycling. Even worse? With us changing our phones more frequently than shoes, we are rapidly adding to the pile of waste.

What smartphone means?
A smartphone is a cellular telephone with an integrated computer and other features not originally associated with telephones, such as an operating system, web browsing and the ability to run software applications.

wall of smart phones, man yellow helmet

On average, people get a new phone once every two years. It is not surprising that this often coincides with the length of phone contracts, with telecom companies vying for the attention and consideration of customers by offering more attractive deals and, of course, the latest phone fads.  This excessive consumerism of phones has led to a staggering 1.5 billion smart phones sold annually.

Recommended: Smartphones Not Sustainable: Designed To 'Downgrade Humans'

Just let that number sink in for a bit, before realising that this must mean that there are just as many phones discarded. Quite a few people will simply leave them somewhere in a drawer at home, while others may choose to throw it in the trash or hand it back to the phone company in exchange for a sweet discount. 



                                                              Why Smart Phones Are Killing Our Planet
                                                                         The true cost of Samsung

 

No matter what method you choose, chances are that it will not lead to a proper recycling process. In fact, only 15% of our e-waste is processed as it should be. Even if you choose to hand in your phone for recycling, chances are that it will end up on a pile to be recycled incorrectly. Countries like China, India and Ghana are struggling to get a grip on their largely unregulated, polluting and frankly downright dangerous recycling processes.

What makes a phone a smart phone?
Briefly, a smartphone is a device that lets you make telephone calls but also adds in additional features such as the ability to send and receive e-mail, edit documents, download apps, and more. Popular operating systems for smartphones are BlackBerry OS, Windows Mobile, and Android.

Chinese boy, wires, smart phones waste

Smart Phone Companies And Seduction Techniques

It was not even that long ago that phones were considered to be a luxury. Something to be handled with great care and a product that would last for as long as long as our average car or washing machine. For years, we would cradle our Nokia, treasuring its ability to connect us with anyone else carrying one of those babies in real time. 

Functionalities have expanded from the call, text and Snake-limitations back in the day. This is one of the reasons that we are so eager to keep up with the latest and change phones more frequently. Manufacturers know this and are happy to oblige, by making it easier to get a new phone at the end of your two-year contract. We are eager to stay on top of the latest trends and, out of fear of falling behind, are more than happy to join this rat race.

What are disadvantages of mobile phones?
Top 8 Health Disadvantages of using Mobile Phones for long hours
  • Brain Cancer. Mobile phones emit radio frequency energy, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which can be absorbed by tissues close to the phone
  • Increases stress level
  • Weakens immune system
  • Chronic pain
  • Eye/ vision problems
  • Hinders sleep
  • Germs
  • Hampers your thinking process

Another smart way of making sure that we do not hang on to our phones for too long is purposely making them break down faster, or making repairs and/or replacements unnecessarily pricey and difficult. Manufacturers are actively limiting the life span of their phones to allow them to move from a luxury, only few-in-a-lifetime good to more of a fast moving consumer good.

Smart Phone Industry Uses Up Valuable And Limited Resources

Creating this many new smartphones does require an excessive amount of resources. Some of those are pretty rare and valuable, such as minerals obtained from war-stricken Congo, extracted through dangerous mining procedures that harm the local environment and population. Similarly, the production of a smart phone requires quite a bit of energy, adding to climate change in the process.

Recommended: Why Is Our Renewable Technology Powered By Child Labor?

Another resource that smart phones require is plastic. For the phone itself, but also for the phone case, screen protectors, and the packaging used for all of those. In a world that has vowed to cut back on its use of this non-biodegradable resource, this gives rise to another unmistakable issue.

Smart Phones Are Killing Our Planet: The Toxic Chemicals

Bag with mobile phones

It is not just plastic that is killing our planet. The toxic chemicals used in the production of electric products are not just making factory workers ill, or those living near unsanctioned e-waste recycling spots. It has an effect on the health of all of us. Only Apple and Google are complying with regulations that serve to cut down the use of those chemicals, meaning that there are still plenty of ‘bad’ smart phones going around.

Recommended: Your Smartphone Is Polluting And Generating Massive Waste

How You Can Stop Excessive Smart Phone Waste Depletion And Armed Conflict

Is mobile a curse or blessing?
Mobile phones can be seen as blessing or a curse. They can be seen as a curse by many people because of the potential health risks of being in continuous contact with them and the often large amounts of money they cost. Mobile phone emissions can be a risk to human health if in continuous contact.

What chemicals are in phones?

The Toxicity of Cell Phones

  • The circuit boards in cell phones contain myriad toxins such as arsenic, antimony, beryllium, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc
  • Brominated flame retardants are found in the plastic housing, printed wiring board, and cables.

 

men, mine, child labor, guns

Okay, so despite this, you are probably not likely to give up your smartphone altogether. We have come to rely on it too much. Yet there are some things that you can do to play your part in cutting back its negative effect on the environment.

  • Check the Guide to Greener Electronics to find out which phones rank best.
  • Think twice before deciding to get a new smartphone.
  • Re-use old phones, by donating them to family, friends, or those in need.
  • Recycle through proper channels, if you are unable to give your phone away. 
  • Select biodegradable accessoires, such as cases and screen protectors.

We all want to make the world a better place. Let’s attempt to be fashionable by playing your part and making sustainable use of your smart phone, instead of by trying to get your hands on the latest one.

Before you go!

Recommended: Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope?

Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

Like to write your own article about the effect of smart phones in your neighborhood?
Click on 'Register' or push the button 'Write An Article' on the 'HomePage'

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Why Smart Phones Are Killing Our Planet

While millennials and generation Z-ers are currently letting their voices be heard in an attempt to sway world leaders to finally take real action against climate change, there is one thing that they are not really acknowledging yet. In an ironic twist, the smart phones that they are using to capture their protest attempts with, turn out to be a major contributor to the destruction of our planet. Smart Phones Excessive And Unnecessary Waste There are several reasons why our iPhones 10, Samsung Galaxies and whatnots are so harmful to the environment. These include dangerous mining practices required for its components, the use of dangerous chemicals, and the difficulty of proper recycling. Even worse? With us changing our phones more frequently than shoes, we are rapidly adding to the pile of waste. What smartphone means? A smartphone is a cellular telephone with an integrated computer and other features not originally associated with telephones, such as an operating system, web browsing and the ability to run software applications. On average, people get a new phone once every two years. It is not surprising that this often coincides with the length of phone contracts, with telecom companies vying for the attention and consideration of customers by offering more attractive deals and, of course, the latest phone fads.   This excessive consumerism of phones has led to a staggering 1.5 billion smart phones sold annually. Recommended:  Smartphones Not Sustainable: Designed To 'Downgrade Humans' Just let that number sink in for a bit, before realising that this must mean that there are just as many phones discarded. Quite a few people will simply leave them somewhere in a drawer at home, while others may choose to throw it in the trash or hand it back to the phone company in exchange for a sweet discount.   {youtube}                                                               Why Smart Phones Are Killing Our Planet                                                                          The true cost of Samsung   No matter what method you choose, chances are that it will not lead to a proper recycling process. In fact, only 15% of our e-waste is processed as it should be. Even if you choose to hand in your phone for recycling, chances are that it will end up on a pile to be recycled incorrectly. Countries like China, India and Ghana are struggling to get a grip on their largely unregulated, polluting and frankly downright dangerous recycling processes. What makes a phone a smart phone? Briefly, a smartphone is a device that lets you make telephone calls but also adds in additional features such as the ability to send and receive e-mail, edit documents, download apps, and more. Popular operating systems for smartphones are BlackBerry OS, Windows Mobile, and Android. Smart Phone Companies And Seduction Techniques It was not even that long ago that phones were considered to be a luxury. Something to be handled with great care and a product that would last for as long as long as our average car or washing machine. For years, we would cradle our Nokia, treasuring its ability to connect us with anyone else carrying one of those babies in real time.   Functionalities have expanded from the call, text and Snake-limitations back in the day. This is one of the reasons that we are so eager to keep up with the latest and change phones more frequently. Manufacturers know this and are happy to oblige, by making it easier to get a new phone at the end of your two-year contract. We are eager to stay on top of the latest trends and, out of fear of falling behind, are more than happy to join this rat race. What are disadvantages of mobile phones? Top 8 Health Disadvantages of using Mobile Phones for long hours Brain Cancer. Mobile phones emit radio frequency energy, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which can be absorbed by tissues close to the phone Increases stress level Weakens immune system Chronic pain Eye/ vision problems Hinders sleep Germs Hampers your thinking process Another smart way of making sure that we do not hang on to our phones for too long is purposely making them break down faster, or making repairs and/or replacements unnecessarily pricey and difficult. Manufacturers are actively limiting the life span of their phones to allow them to move from a luxury, only few-in-a-lifetime good to more of a fast moving consumer good. Smart Phone Industry Uses Up Valuable And Limited Resources Creating this many new smartphones does require an excessive amount of resources. Some of those are pretty rare and valuable, such as minerals obtained from war-stricken Congo, extracted through dangerous mining procedures that harm the local environment and population. Similarly, the production of a smart phone requires quite a bit of energy, adding to climate change in the process. Recommended:  Why Is Our Renewable Technology Powered By Child Labor? Another resource that smart phones require is plastic. For the phone itself, but also for the phone case, screen protectors, and the packaging used for all of those. In a world that has vowed to cut back on its use of this non-biodegradable resource, this gives rise to another unmistakable issue. Smart Phones Are Killing Our Planet: The Toxic Chemicals It is not just plastic that is killing our planet. The toxic chemicals used in the production of electric products are not just making factory workers ill, or those living near unsanctioned e-waste recycling spots. It has an effect on the health of all of us. Only Apple and Google are complying with regulations that serve to cut down the use of those chemicals, meaning that there are still plenty of ‘bad’ smart phones going around. Recommended: Your Smartphone Is Polluting And Generating Massive Waste How You Can Stop Excessive Smart Phone Waste Depletion And Armed Conflict Is mobile a curse or blessing? Mobile phones can be seen as blessing or a curse. They can be seen as a curse by many people because of the potential health risks of being in continuous contact with them and the often large amounts of money they cost. Mobile phone emissions can be a risk to human health if in continuous contact. What chemicals are in phones? The Toxicity of Cell Phones The circuit boards in cell phones contain myriad toxins such as arsenic, antimony, beryllium, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc Brominated flame retardants are found in the plastic housing, printed wiring board, and cables.   Okay, so despite this, you are probably not likely to give up your smartphone altogether. We have come to rely on it too much. Yet there are some things that you can do to play your part in cutting back its negative effect on the environment. Check the Guide to Greener Electronics to find out which phones rank best. Think twice before deciding to get a new smartphone. Re-use old phones, by donating them to family, friends, or those in need. Recycle through proper channels, if you are unable to give your phone away.   Select biodegradable accessoires, such as cases and screen protectors. We all want to make the world a better place. Let’s attempt to be fashionable by playing your part and making sustainable use of your smart phone, instead of by trying to get your hands on the latest one. Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the effect of smart phones in your neighborhood? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
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