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Monday, January 30, 2023

Do you really need a new smartphone every 2 years? How to get more out of your devices

(CNN) — If you’re thinking of replacing or upgrading your smartphone next year, take a moment to think about it. Do you really need a new phone or are you itching to get your hands on shiny new technology? Besides the affordability of the new device, there are other issues to consider.

Notably, our desire to always have the latest smartphone comes at a high environmental cost.

Smartphone life begins in mines around the world, where essential minerals are extracted. These materials are taken to factories, where they are refined, often at high temperatures and high power, into components such as batteries, cables, logic boards, and motors. The components are then transported in fossil fuel-powered vehicles to other factories to be assembled into complete devices before being shipped to consumers around the world.

This manufacturing process, which is so harmful to the climate and environment, is compounded by the frequency with which consumers change their phones. And when thrown away, electronic devices cause toxic damage to the environment.

“Smartphones seem so small and irrelevant that until you study the supply chain and realize what goes into making them, you have no idea what’s going on,” Cole Stratton, an associate professor at Indiana University Bloomington, told CNN. How destructive they are to the environment.” who have studied technology supply chains.

right to repair your belongings

Unfortunately, manufacturers have historically made it very difficult to repair devices, to the point that replacing them often seems like an easier solution than fixing them, further contributing to an already serious climate crisis. .

According to Swapy, which refurbishes and resells iPhones, the 1.4 billion new smartphones sold this year will generate 146 million tons of planet-warming emissions, 83% of which come from manufacturing, shipping and use during the first year.

“Many people are unaware of the real impact of buying a new smartphone on the environment,” Emma Lehikoinen, COO of Swappy, told CNN. “Now when we look at refurbished equipment, it’s a very different story.”

This is where the growing movement for the right to compensation comes into play.

Advocates for the right to repair have called for laws requiring appliance manufacturers to provide the necessary tools, parts, and repair manuals so that consumers can repair their products at independent shops or do it themselves.

If consumers can more easily repair their devices, they will not need to replace them as frequently, reducing reliance on a resource-intensive, greenhouse gas-emitting production process and ultimately reducing e-waste.

The company reported that the climate footprint of an average swapped refurbished phone in 2021 was 78% lower than that of an average new phone.

“If we can’t repair our stuff, the result is that we throw away too much,” Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of the Repair Association, a coalition that fights for the right to repair, previously said. Told CNN. “We can no longer cope with the volume…we are swimming in products that we can no longer recycle.”

what can be done

(Credit: Boonchai Vedmakavand/Moment RF/Getty Images)

Resist the temptation to upgrade. If your phone is still working, use it as much as you can. “The greenest smartphone is the one you already own,” says Stratton.

arrange it. If your phone breaks, take it directly to the manufacturer — such as Samsung or Apple — or to a store such as MicroCenter, Best Buy, or another local authorized repair shop for your brand of phone. Often a broken or damaged phone can be fixed with simple repairs that can cost less than replacing it. Apple opened its own self-service repair store this year, providing manuals and parts to consumers who want to fix their iPhones themselves.

Dona. There are many good causes that accept phone donations to refurbish or sell phones for funds, such as the Salvation Army and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Sell ​​it instead of throwing it away. You can sell your used smartphone (or its parts) to specialized refurbishment companies like Swappie to give it a second life. “Many people don’t realize that even a broken phone can be valuable,” explains Lehikoinen. “This is due to the materials used to make them, but also the parts that go into them.”

Recycle it properly. Even if your phone is completely broken and can’t be sold or donated, you can still recycle it properly. All you have to do is do a little research on how and where to recycle it the right way. For example, at Swapy’s pop-up store in Milan, they are asking the local community to help collect 50kg of broken phones for recycling.

CNN’s Claire Duffy contributed to this report.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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