Have you ever wondered where all the old cell phones go? Unfortunately, nearly 32 cell phones per second are turning into e-waste because no more than 10% have been recycled each year. That’s over 1 Billion per year that are buried in landfills or elsewhere. If cell phone makers realized that e-waste from billions of cell phones can cause serious health and pollution problems, all cell phone makers would be making them green (eco friendly).
Somewhere in the R&D labs of the top smartphone makers in the world must be the blueprint for greener smartphones to be announced. Although no manufacturer has bundled the best eco features into the Greenest Smartphone in the world, here is my vision of the Top 10 Features that Green Smartphones must have:
- 100% Recyclable housing (ideally made from recycled plastic water bottles). Of course, it must also be fashionable. Motorola was the first to use the material in 2009 with the Renew cell phone;
- Certified Carbon Neutral smartphone (via Carbonfund.org or another global organization) with the promotional website using a carbon offset server,
- Zero use of hazardous chemical substances (PVCs, BFRs, etc.);
- UL Platinum Level Certification per UL ISR 110 requirements that sets the bar for environmental leadership. The Samsung Replenish was the first to receive this distinction in June. RoHS, WEEE and other eco certifications are a must;
- Eco-Friendly accessories with an optional solar charging battery case that also includes an embedded dynamo charger. All accessories must be made from 100% recycled plastics with toxic-free materials, carbon neutral validation and environmental certifications;
- Bundled with a Zero Energy Charger that cuts off vampire current if the smartphone is unplugged and/or when it is fully charged (the AT&T Zero Charger doesn’t do the latter unless it has been recently revised);
- 100% recycled and recyclable packaging with no manuals. User information can be obtained online. This could consist of 100% post-consumer recycled paper with vegetable-based inks;
- Green Applications: a wide variety of energy saving applications that would be similar to Sprint’s Green ID pack (see video) yet further expand the areas of energy monitoring, green living tips, recycling and eco-saving transportation;
- Smart-home ecosystem option: By partnering with smart plug makers and home energy monitors, a smartphone manufacturer could help consumers eliminate vampire energy and minimize home energy use within the home or office and
- A Trade-In Recycling Program: By allowing consumers to return and trade-in their smartphones through their local authorized smartphone retailers or cell phone stores, consumers could get a discount for their next product. An e-cycling partnership program would ensure that the products would be completely recycled in an environmentally safe way that maximizes reuse of all components.
The EcoLeader company that crosses the chasm to be first-to-market with these Top 10 Features will reap the rewards of eco-savvy consumer satisfaction, customer loyalty and a cleaner, greener Planet Earth.
What other green features would you like to see? Your comments are welcome.
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Copyright 2011 by Ed Valdez. All rights reserved.