Choosing a Green Cell Phone

I think of myself as a rather green person. I buy local and organic. I drive a hybrid vehicle, but more often than not walk or ride my bike to work. I recycle, compost, and refuse to buy bottled water. However, a few months back when I was looking at replacing my outdated cell phone I suddenly found myself wondering how to dispose of my mobile device in a way that was environmentally friendly. The great news is that I found a local cell phone provider that offered to recycle my phone so that it didn’t end up in a landfill site, but that left me wondering: Can I replace my old phone with a greener cell phone?

While there are regulations in place that require newer electronics are to be less toxic, longer-lasting, more energy efficient, and even recyclable (many of their parts and packaging that is), I was hoping to find a replacement eco-friendly cell phone that used less power, gave off less greenhouse gas emissions, and was constructed of eco-friendly materials. So I decided to do some research and I found a number of green cell phones.

5 Mobile Phones That Make a Positive Environmental Impact: 1. LG GD510

As far as LG phones go, the LG GD510 was the very first solar charged option on the market. Not only does it boast solar-powered benefits (and reduced electricity usage), this easy-to-use with a virtually frameless touch screen that spans from edge to edge of the phone face. It also features all the perks you would expect in a quality smart phone—such as a 3MP camera and web browser. Plus, as far as eco goes this phone is totally PVC-free and packaged in recycled casing.

2. iPhone 4S

Want to hear something really juicy? Apple’s newest, greenest, sweetest iPhone 4S is built for long-lasting usability and multi-functionality so you can keep it for much longer before having to replace it with another device. This cell phone features the famous iPod multimedia player and storage, a quality digital camera, electronic planner, e-reader, GPS device, calendar, calculator, and Apple’s full line of apps. Not to mention Apple doesn’t use any hazardous chemicals in the production of their mobile phones so you can feel confident about your cell phone purchase.

3. Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate

The Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate is actually Platinum Certified by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Environment—for the most environmentally-conscious consumer. So you can trust that Samsung utilized only environmentally-sensitive materials and green manufacturing and operations in the manufacturing of this cell phone. Samsung worked alongside the UL to ensure that fewer toxins were used in the construction of this device (it’s made of 80% recycled materials). And you can consider this phone eco-friendly because it can actually replaces several individual devices—it combines a camera, music player, GPS, and more—similar to the iPhone 4S.

4. Samsung Evergreen

Another green thumb up for Samsung comes in the Evergreen; a cell phone also constructed of mainly recycled plastics (approximately 80%). This phone is jam-packed with a collection of eco-themed apps and tools (such as the Eco Walk app that aims to reduce CO2 emissions and encourage walking commutes) and even comes with an Energy Star efficient charger that alerts you as soon as the phone charge is complete so you never waste any excess energy. This device is green right down to the packaging—made with recycled materials and marked totally with soy ink by the way.

5. Buy a used cell phone

This final option is actually the replacement phone that I decided to go with—and that was buying a used phone. Since electronics waste is such a concern for me, I opted to buy and recycle a phone with some good life still left in it. I looked to online sources like Kijiji and Craigslist before finally finding a great used iPhone on eBay. There are also some great refurbished phones available from stores like Amazon, Future Shop and Best Buy for really cheap prices. I’m happy to say that my new/used phone works like a charm and I did my part to reduce my e-waste footprint.