Your phone can do a lot of things. As your alarm clock, it wakes you up in time for work every morning. As your navigator, it tells you the most efficient route to your office. As your calendar and PA, it organizes your social life. But you knew all that. What you might not know is that as your social conscience, your phone can help you be more environmentally friendly. Don’t believe us? Keep reading to find out three ways you can make your iPhone eco-friendly.
- Switch to an eco-friendly search engine
Sorry Bing — only one search engine is popular enough that its name has become synonymous with the search itself. For years, Google has been generating millions of results for each question typed into its search bar. But the next time you want to find out what caused that rash or to find out how to make slime (a question that, though unusual, was one of the most popular queries in 2017), don’t ask Google. Ask Ecosia.
Ecosia is the only search engine that plants trees while you search the web. It works like Google, letting you search for anything that’s on your mind. And like Google, it shows ads at the top and the sides of its results pages. The only difference is, 80 percent of the revenue these ads generate go towards Ecosia’s tree planting projects that in Peru, Burkina Faso, and Madagascar. So far, Ecosia has generated enough money to plant 20 million trees — and counting. The only way they can reach their target of 1 billion by 2020 is if you make the switch.
- Don’t make e-waste
Every electronic has a lifespan. Though it’s hard to think about it, even your brand-new iPhone X will eventually meet its end. When it does finally croak, you’ll be heartbroken, but you’ll get over it. Soon enough you’ll be looking towards the next Apple flagship to replace your old one. But what will you do with your old smartphone?
When old phones, computers, and other gadgets are thrown out, they’re a huge a risk to the environment. These electronics contain harmful chemicals that contaminate local water and soil sources, and the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies these toxins as harmful to people and wildlife.
You can keep your phone (and other electronics) from becoming e-waste in two ways:
- Use a skin to extend its life:A customized iPhone decal does more than just add a cool new look to your X. This accessory comes with an extra grippy surface that helps keep your phone in your hand. Its textured surface adds traction, so you’re less likely to drop it on the floor. This is important in a phone that’s deemed the most breakable iPhone.
Having a skin that looks good just sweetens the deal, especially when you shop from dbrand’s catalogue. They have the best collection of iPhone X skins to check out with premium textures you can’t find anywhere else. With a selection this large you could create some that appeals to your eco-friendly nature, like a design of green and bamboo. Or maybe you prefer a geek chic carbon fiber iPhone skin. The choice is yours when you shop from dbrand.
- Recycle your old electronics:Once your phone dies (or once you can’t resist the temptation of an upgrade) don’t throw your X out with the trash. Find your nearest electronics recycling facility to make sure it’s disposed of safely in a way that won’t contaminate the Earth. If your municipality doesn’t have one, stores like Best Buy and IKEA have recycling programs.
Gamify your energy usage
You know it’s important to regulate your energy usage and make smart shopping decisions if you want to be eco-friendly. That’s why you made a New Year’s resolution to be more eco-conscious, but — like so many other resolutions — it can be hard to put it into practice. It’s easy to turn off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth, but it can be a challenge to limit your shower to 10 minutes. Other tasks, like sorting your garbage are even harder after a long day’s work. Meanwhile, it’s easy to forget to keep unnecessary lights off or use appliances during off-peak hours.
It would be a lot easier if you were competing with your friends to see who could save the most amount of energy. In a bid to motivate would-be-environmentalists, developers have created apps that gamify your energy conservation. These apps turn a boring task into something that’s fun by pitting you against other users and rewarding good behaviour.
Some apps include:
- JouleBug: This app gamifies your everyday chores by linking each action with points, awards, and badges. It comes with convenient tabs that explain your impact stats, that offers bonuses and local challenges, and that provides easy how-to-videos. Joulebug makes it easy to track your progress and share the sustainable activities you’ve made with its help.
- MyEarth:The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology created this app to help people track their daily energy usage. It requires you to catalogue nearly everything — from food, water, electricity, and travel. It demonstrates your usage with a picture of a polar bear on an iceberg. Once it sees your regular habits, MyEarth can recommend changes that will help conserve more energy. If you make these changes and successfully reduce your usage, the polar bear’s iceberg will grow.
Kermit the frog was onto something when he said that it ain’t easy being green. We live in a world that prizes disposable convenience and our habits have conformed to these new preferences. It’s easier to buy foods in unrecyclable packing, and it’s harder to use less energy. Those are just the facts. It’s going to be an uphill battle, but your phone can make your journey towards environmentalism a little bit easier. Try out these suggestions to see how much of an eco-friendly tool your iPhone can be.