It is estimated that there are over 4.6 billion active mobile phones throughout the world. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that over two million tons of technology-related waste goes to dumping grounds each year. If you have decided to buy an Android phone, consider ways to go green with your new mobile phone.

(Image Courtesy of Flickr User: Kamotegirl)

The first thing you can do is to recycle your old phone. Electronic stores such as Staples have boxes designated for the recycling of phones, ink cartridges and other electronics. The stores can then use the parts to create new and refurbished products and you get to reduce your impact on the environment.

You can recycle your cell phone through any number of retailers, manufacturers or government-supported programs. For a comprehensive list of programs through which you can recycle or donate your old Android mobile phone, go to the EPA’s recycling webpage. It has been reported that only 18 percent of electronics get recycled, so anything that increases that number will be better for the environment.

Before recycling your old phone, remember to take out the SIM card so you can slip it into your new phone and keep your contacts intact. If the reason why you need to do away with your phone is because it is defective, bring it to the retailer first. Your phone may just have a damaged SIM card. If the retailer determines that a damaged SIM card is causing problems with your phone, all you need to do is replace the SIM card and you can keep the same phone.

If you change cellular providers, you can just purchase a new SIM card and keep the same phone. This is called a SIM-only deal. By keeping the same phone, you can reduce your carbon footprint and save money. Another advantage of SIM-only deals is that the networks that have these deals offer minimum 30-day contracts with these offers.

There are also a number of sites that will pay you for your old Android phone. Service providers and other resellers will pay you outright or give you a discount towards a new phone. This enables them to build other phones and electronics out of the recycled materials while you make an eco-friendly decision.

If you need a new Android phone, seek out companies that are known for being concerned about the environment. Eco-conscious companies will offer SIM only deals or have green apps that you can download. Android apps such as Eco Charger will notify you either by audio or vibration when the battery is charged. Other green apps such as Green Tips will give you green lifestyle tips like how to save energy at home and how to reduce your car’s gas consumption. Most big companies have carbon footprint ratings that you can also research. Additionally, there are websites that will permit you to compare cell phones to help you determine which ones use the least amount of energy.

Once you purchase your new cell phone, scan through the manual to find out which settings you can adjust to keep the phone as environmentally-friendly as possible. Different settings can reduce your Android’s energy output. For example, reducing the brightness, keeping it on auto-lock and putting it in airplane mode when you do not need access to the Internet can all decrease how often you need to charge the phone.

By taking actions like seeking out places to recycle your old phone, looking into SIM-only deals or purchasing a new mobile phone with eco-friendly apps, you can minimize your carbon footprint with your Android phone.

Guest Post: Joanne Wilkes is a Tech and mobile enthusiast and has been writing for the UK Mobile site for the last year and previously has written for a number of other tech sites.

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