With the rise of smartphones, human behaviour has been changing one app at a time.
As of May 2012, 57% of Aussies have smartphones and as of last week, there are now more than 30% of Kiwis with smartphones, too. And those numbers will undoubtedly continue to rise.
The battery, for one, is most probably made of lithium, which is a latent toxic material no one should throw in the rubbish bin, but alas, often is. Practically every landfill is piled with lithium batteries. What’s more, if your battery is like that of most smartphones, it likely needs to be recharged everyday — increasingly consuming a huge amount of coal-generated electricity.
Aside from this, some of the very essential parts of a smartphone, like the circuit board, are possibly made of any number of hazardous substances.
A green smartphone isn’t really just wishful thinking. Manufacturers are rising to the challenge, albeit at a slow pace. Recently, the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) awarded the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini as European Green Smart Phone 2011-2012.
Just last April, Sprint launched its fourth so-called “eco-friendly” gadget, the Samsung Replenish, that’s made from 82% recyclable materials, boxed in fully recyclable packaging, has an optional solar charger, comes with Sprint ID Green Pack of eco-conscious apps, and meets the Sprint eco-criteria.
Aside from the actual phones, developers are also producing apps for everyone to become more environmentally aware consumers.
Battery life has also relatively improved in recent years and is gearing up to make in the future a notable development. Somewhere down the line, smartphone batteries may only need to be recharged once a week, if ever at all.
The good thing about smartphones is that they are more environmentally friendly than laptops or desktop computers since they use up less electricity, So updating your Facebook status from a smartphone consumes about 100 times less energy than if you were to do the same activity from a desktop PC. Imagine if 100 million people used smartphones instead of desktop PCs to go online one hour a day, the total energy saved would be just about the same as the greenhouse gas emissions of 430,000 cars in a year.
Just think about the possibilities.
Image: Icon Archive