For those of us who are trying our best to live a more sustainable life, every purchase should be met with the same attitude – whether you’re purchasing a new washing machine for your home, a pair of new jeans, or a new smartphone, Ask yourself, how sustainable is this product, how long will it last me and what can I do with it once I have no use for it. Factoring in these things before making a purchase will help you on your sustainability journey.
Here’s how to choose a more eco-friendly phone in 2022.
Find out about the manufacturing process.
Surprisingly, most of the environmental impacts of a mobile phone come from the manufacturing process and not the use of the phone itself. Take a deep dive into the ethics and sustainability practices of the brand you are planning on buying from and get a feel for how their devices are made. Are they actively working towards lowering their carbon footprint, do they pay fair wages and employ workers of a legal age, are there any other practices that they are following in their business to become more sustainable, like recycled packaging and materials? Once you have an understanding of the manufacturing process you can start thinking about the longevity of the device.
Is the phone built to last and does it have parts that can be easily replaced or repaired?
Be honest, if new model phones weren’t being released every two or so years, would you still want to replace your current phone with a new one? One of the most sustainable ways to choose a phone in 2022 is to choose one you want, and keep it for as long as possible. Sure, after a year or so the battery life might not be what it once was, but charging your phone one extra time a day isn’t the end of the world. Find out whether there are any repairs that can be done in your existing phone to make its lifespan longer. If the phone has cracks in the screen or a broken speaker, take it to an authorized repair store and have it repaired, if it’s still under warranty or you have insurance, this will either be free or much cheaper than getting a new phone all together. There’ll likely always be a better camera, better battery life and better looking phone out there, but if your phone is still working as you need it to, keep it!
Check the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of your phone
SAR refers to the rate in which our bodies absorb radio frequency (RF) energy. The SAR limit on most mobile phones should be below the legal limit of 1.6 watts per kilogram, and you can check your phone to see what their regulations are. Simply dial *#07# on your phone and you will be taken to a page that includes all relevant information in regards to your phone’s radiation levels. If you have a phone with a SAR over the threshold, you may want to consider trading it in for one with a lower SAR if you are concerned.
Buy a second hand phone or get one on a subscription model
We’ve become conditioned to always want the biggest and the best, but what’s wrong with getting a phone that just does what we need it to do? These days, it’s so simple to get a second hand phone that’s still in great condition, and secondhand doesn’t always mean old. Buying second hand doesn’t mean going back to the days of flip phones and pixelated cameras, plenty of people and businesses out there are selling the latest model phones. There are also subscription based companies like Beneko, who allow you the use of a device of your choice, for a duration of your choice. Beneko uses the Product-as-a-Service orientation, where we provide customers access to the latest technology at the lowest prices. Users have the freedom to return their products at any time while only paying for what they use. They also have peace of mind knowing they can responsibly recycle their old electronics and resell their used devices in just a few easy steps.
By following these steps, you will find yourself on the right track to purchasing the most eco-friendly phone in 2022. One of the biggest aspects of sustainability is making use of what you have for as long as possible, so keep this in mind when purchasing your next phone.