We’ve all dropped our phone. As it tumbles to the ground, you have just enough time to hope the impact isn’t too bad. Sometimes, luck is on your side, and your phone is intact. Other times … not so much. When your screen is cracked or the phone is otherwise damaged, you have a few options. Depending on your cell phone carrier and whether or not you are under a contract, you may be able to upgrade to a new phone for a relatively low price. However, the environmental price for a new phone is high–it won’t hurt your wallet, but you should still care about it.

E-Waste – A New Kind of Garbage

Cell phones are considered electronic waste, or e-waste. When you get a new phone and your old one becomes junk, chances are it is headed for an electronic landfill. Electronics contain all sorts of chemicals and toxins that can leach into soil and contaminate ground water if not disposed of in a responsible way. Even when recycled properly, a significant percentage of the old phone still ends up in a landfill.

The Scientific American reports that cell phone sales grew by 23% in 2014, but the EPA estimates that only 27% of e-waste is recycled. At this rate, our consumption will quickly outpace our ability to recycle the discarded products. Reports show that “If Americans recycled the approximately 130 million cell phones that are disposed of annually, enough energy would be saved to power more than 24,000 homes in a year.”

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – You Can Make a Difference

There are several ways that you can help reduce e-waste.

  • By doubling the length of time you keep an electronic, you cut the amount of e-waste that you produce in half! So when you drop your phone, take it to a cell phone repair store and have it repaired!
  • If your phone is beyond repair, consider purchasing a refurbished phone instead of a new one. You’ll likely save money and, if you buy the same model you had, you can save time because you won’t need to learn to use different features.
  • Make sure any phone that cannot be repaired is taken to a recycler that has been certified to properly and safely dispose of old electronics.

 To see if we can repair your phone and help you save the environment, check out our website!