Mobile phones and the environment. How can we contribute to this problem? What is planned obsolescence? How are we manipulated by our favorite brands?

According to the eMarketer Mobile Media is today greater than Desktop and other Media. Why is that surprising when our phone is actually a pocket computer. Unfortunately the most common used technology has the shortest lifetime. One of the reasons is that brands are encouraging us to always strive to have the latest model.

How many spare phones do you have in your house? Did you know that, like plastic bags, mobiles and other electronic devices can take up to 1000 years to break down?

Searching the Internet there is a common term called planned obsolescence. It claims that mobile phones are programmed by producers to have 2-3 years lifetime so you always have to renew your device. There are thousands of people on the Internet who had complaints about their phone breaking right after the 18 months contract.

Throwing away your old phones is extremely dangerous for the environment because phones are mainly made of toxic materials such as arsenic, lithium, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury and zinc. These poisonous substances may leach from decomposing waste in landfills, reach the groundwater and contaminate the soil. Metals that are found in the soil can enter the food chain and in sufficient presence may cause health problems.

But throwing your old phone is not the only danger for the environment. The production of new mobile phones also leads to climate change by using up energy and virgin materials, which release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

How can we contribute to minimize this problem?


Even when it’s not in use but plugged in, charger draws half a watt of electricity!

Save energy, use your phone only when you need it, don’t waste energy and charging for nothing just to unlock your phone and swipe the menu back and forth.

Reduce: Be a smart consumer and don’t let your favorite brand manipulates you to buy the new model because it has few features more than your old one. Use your phone as much as possible and if it breaks, try first to repair it instead of buying immediately the new one. The market and cell phone production grows by our demands.

Reuse: If you really want to buy a new phone and your old doesn’t do the job, give your phone to somebody in your surroundings friends and families that are not interested in new technologies.

Recycle: There are specialized recycling companies were you can take your phone for recycling, Google it to see which one is represented in your country. This way you can preserve valued resources such as copper and other metals and keep them from filling up landfills.


Did you know? Bra anti cell phone campaign!!! 

I must say I was surprised when I came across this campaign made in 2013 by Tiffany Frantz about the link between cell phone and breast cancer. Girls actually hold their cell phones in their bra. This info was unknown to me since I never did it neither my friends. So what is it about?

She was holding her cell phone in her bra for 10 hours approximately each day for 5 years and at the end she suffered from breast cancer. And this affects even men, if they hold their phone in the pocket of their shirt.


And few more interesting facts:


  • Mobile phones have more bacteria than toilet handles – keep them away from your face and your food and clean them often. I capture myself texting and eating snacks at the same time.


  • Mobile phones can cause insomnia, headaches and confusion. I guess this is a problem of 21st century and it is not only caused by phone, but use it as less as possible.


  • Nomo phobia is the fear of being without your phone or loosing your signal.


  • 100.000 mobiles are dropped into the toilet in Britain every year. This I understand really, it happened to me once, otherwise I would be confused how this is possible.


  • 110 times people unlock their phone daily – This is a good way of breaking this statistic, be ecological and use your phone only when you need it, if that isn’t 110 times a day.


I have my 5s IPhone for 3 years already, after reading few articles I refused to upgrade it to the newest software released by IPhone. Why? My friend had the same phone as I, after the upgrade, it slowed down all the actions on the phone and after few weeks it broke completely. After searching the Internet I found out that new software’s are too powerful for older phones. The whole idea is to slow your phone down with a “stronger” upgrade that is more compatible for the new model. It will lead to slowing down your phone and at the end breaking in order to encourage you to buy the new one. If somebody has opinion about this topic it would be nice to share your information with me.


Sources and other useful links:

Cell Phones and Breast Cancer

Cell Phones and Breast Cancer


4 thoughts on “Mobile phones and the environment. How can we contribute to this problem? What is planned obsolescence? How are we manipulated by our favorite brands?

  1. Clever picture 😉

    Your article has made me think about how I have my phone in my coat pocket while I’m out cycling.

    I’m conscious of the ‘electrical noise’ emitted by tech., such as mobile phones, broadband routers and computers, and how they affect sleep. Staring at a screen before bed isn’t good either.

    ‘planned obsolescence’ is very unethical, but hard to avoid it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

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