People consider a lot of different factors when they purchase electronics, and specifically cell phones. People want devices that look nice, and that function quickly and effectively. People also consider battery life, and amount of data storage space, download speeds, and a huge range of other factors. However, it is also becoming increasingly important to consider the environmental issues attached to electronic devices. Fortunately, there is plenty of available information on this topic that can help in your research of which products to buy, or how to handle the products. For example, you can head to O2 for some simple information on o2’s mobile phone recycling program. In the meantime, however, as you begin to explore electronic devices as they relate to the environment, here are a few things to help get you thinking.
Many people do not understand the importance of, or the reason for, recycling cell phones. However, much like a range of other materials, recycling cellular phones can be a great help to the environment, and can conserve energy. To begin with, cell phones often contain precious metals and useful plastics in their physical makeup, and it is important to conserve such materials, firstly because they can be reused, and secondly because using new materials to make cell phones involves gas emissions. Here are some rather alarming numbers from environment.about.com that support these statements:
- Recycling a single cell phone can save enough energy to power a laptop for up to 44 hours.
- A million cell phones recycled can save 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, 33 pounds of palladium, and 35, 274 pounds of copper – all valuable resources.
- Cell phones also contain lead, mercury, and arsenic, and should therefore be disposed of carefully, rather than thrown in with trash where they can be hazardous.
The same issues hold true with a variety of other electronic devices that are found in households all over the world. Essentially, they are the same problems on different scales. For example, computers also contain many of the same helpful and harmful materials as cell phones, and are very rarely recycled. The same can be said of televisions, printers, smart tablets, scanners, and a generally huge range of electronic equipment. Often, people simply don’t understand that these devices are recyclable, or else don’t know where or how to recycle them. However, preserving the materials in these devices can be a huge help for the environment, making it very important for people to start recycling them.