Recycle that old (unused) cell phone today on National Phone Recycling Day

old-cell-phonesLet’s face it. Almost everyone has at least one old cell phone stuck in a drawer or cabinet somewhere just gathering dust. A lot of us have a few of them – think small flip phones and other such analog devices. As of last 2015, there were roughly 426 million idle or inactive mobile devices in the U.S. Only 100 million would be recycled.

We hang onto them for no good reason other than we forget about them. But why not do something constructive and recycle them?

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Coming soon – connect your gadgets thru home Wi-Fi

Wireless communicationBy mid-2010, consumers will be able to connect their home electronic “gadgets” via Wi-Fi without a wireless network.

An industry group called the Wi-Fi Alliance has just completed a set of technical “rules” called Wi-Fi Direct to guide consumer electronics companies planning to add this new capability. Now cell phones, cameras and computers will be able to “talk” to each other directly.

Only one gadget will need to have the new Wi-Fi technology to make two-way connections. This technology overlaps with that of Bluetooth, whose wireless technology already has gadget-to-gadget connection capability allowing consumers to send videos and other bandwidth-hogging files around the house.

Things could be getting a little simpler. Add this to the news earlier this year that the major electronics firms have agreed to make standardized charger adapters in the near future and it sure seems like we’ll have a few less headaches in this department next year.

Consumer Electronics Report Card part 2

Some of the statistics on consumer electronics companies reviewed as part of the recently released Environmental Sustainability and Innovation in the Consumer Electronics Industry Report are pretty impressive.

Epson’s packaging now comes from trees specifically grown for them. They also plant 20 percent more trees than they harvest.

The amount of electrical energy Nokia’s cell phone chargers consume when left unattended has been reduced by 90 percent over the past nine years and Nokia phones now signal users as reminders.

Panosonic’s plasma TV’s currently use 90 percent less energy than eight years ago.

Kodak has embraced recycling cameras big time. They’ve recycled 1.2 billion single-use camera since 1990, recycling 120 million last year alone.

Intel’s capital funding program for conservation and efficiency has, since 2001, approved more than 200 projects that saved over 400 kilowatt hours of electricity.

These facts are definitely steps in the right direction for electronics manufacturers. Forward thinking from the boardroom or perhaps positive response to calls-to-action from consumers? Regardless of the reasons, consumers should continue to speak up for more broad-based conservation efforts from the electronics industry. They seem to be paying attention.


A Greener Report Card for the Electronics Industry

In these days of rampant greenwashing, consumers have been dealt a winning hand by the Consumer Electronics Association.

The CEA’s recent “Environmental Sustainability and Innovation in the Consumer Electronics Industry Report” 
analyzed  20 corporations, including many of the largest consumer electronics sellers in the world.
The report paints a positive picture, including lower manufacturer energy consumption and improved cradle-to-cradle design.
Some of the results are truly impressive. One company reduced their electricity use by 58% per employee, while increasing their employee base by 60%! Still another company reduced electricity usage by 46% per million dollars (revenue), as they increased their overall revenue by 43%.
Clearly, wise energy management can engender greatly improved company health, contrary to what naysayers loudly protest.
Look at part 2 for more details.