Green on the Go: How to Be More Eco-Friendly With Your Phone

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It’s sexy to be sustainable. An entire culture has been constructed around using less paper, biking to work, and eating locally grown food. But in the midst of our hemp shirts and reusable water bottles lies a group of items that are doing little to further the cause: personal electronics.

In this era of globalization, we all want to stay connected to what is happening around us. Phones, computers, and TVs, however, use tremendous amounts of electricity and generate troublesome e-waste; the materials used in their production are not biodegradable by any means. Does this mean we have to give up our luxuries? Not necessarily. Find out how you can be more eco-friendly while still staying connected with these tips for green usage of one the aforementioned devices: your phone.

Use your phone more.

Huh!? How does increasing your phone usage help the environment? Don’t get too excited; what I meant is to use your phone more in place of your computer. It is estimated that performing a task (ie updating Facebook status) on the computer takes an average of 100 times more electricity than performing the same task on a mobile device. So sorry to burst your bubble, this only works if you use your computer less in tandem. It is a great solution though for people on the go!

Protect your battery.

The less effective your battery becomes, the more often you will have to charge it. So take care of it to maximize its lifespan! Don’t expose it to harsh conditions such as extreme temperatures. Also, try to maintain your battery levels somewhere in the middle, instead of overcharging it or letting it 回收手機 run out before charging, as both behaviors are damaging to the long-term efficiency of your battery.

Buy green accessories.

In the same vein, another way to maximize your battery efficiency, and thus reduce how often you have to charge your phone, is to buy accessories that do so for you. Currently, there are products on the market that use various alternative means of energy production to power your phone. They range from the common solar chargers to a very unique charger I once saw that was powered by the kinetic energy (movement) of a yo-yo!

Don’t waste your batteries.

As my last piece of advice regarding power consumption, ask yourself if you really have to be connected 24/7. Turn off your phone (and unplug your charger too as it uses electricity even when not charging anything) at night. Besides, you don’t want to be rudely awakened in the middle of the night by a call or text. Even in times you feel like you have to leave it on, if it is a smartphone, you’ll be happy to hear that most smartphones come with settings that allow you to customize data usage and the rate at which your phone fetches data. Do you really need to get your emails as soon as they’re in your inbox? Or can you wait 15-30 minute intervals as your phone fetches them intermittently for you? Do you really need to be on a 3G network all the time? Or can you turn it off and use the regular network from time to time? Anything that involves more data usage also drains your battery. So yes, using Wi-Fi instead of data will also help.


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