Your new smartphone is killing the planet.
McMaster University published a new study with shows how buying a new smartphone consumes as much energy as using an existing phone for 10 years, which is concerning, given how they can impact the overall carbon footprint that technology contributes to every year.
The Information and Communication Industry (ICT) contributed to 1% of the carbon footprint in 2007. The recent study has found that it could exceed 14% by 2040 — that’s half the carbon contributed by the transportation industry.
The problem with smartphones is how disposable they are. An average smartphone has a life cycle of 2 years before a consumer replaces it with a new one. But rare materials inside the phones require lots of mining and contribute up to 95% of Co2 emissions of the phone. Newer phones also leave bigger carbon footprints. An iPhone generates 25% more C02 than the iPhone 6. And although there are programs that recycled parts, less than 1% of phones are actually recycled.
Keeping a phone for 3 years can help reduce your carbon footprint in the same way that buying a used car does. So the next time you’re due for an upgrade, remember what that new phone is doing to the earth.