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Consumer Products

The iPhone and the Environment

recycle iphone

Never before in the history of mankind has so much waste been caused by electronic devices. Unfortunately, the iPhone is no exception to this as we see around the world, massive stockpiles of e-trash, electronic devices that are no longer used, or desired, just thrown out and sent to large dump grounds. CBS News reported way back in 2007 that in 2005, out of 2.2 million tons of electronic items went into landfills. Out of that, only 345,000 tons of it was recycled. Bear in mind this is ten years ago, and the introduction of the iPhone and other smart phones will have significantly added to that burden, which will see a massive rise in those figures.

This is a harrowing statistic, and one that each one of us should bear in mind. We should also consider that the advances in iPhones and smartphones in general are beginning to plateau. Of course, we shall see new things enter the market place, but in essence, there is really not a lot of difference between an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 6 when you think about it. Sure the iPhone 6 has some nice new features, runs a bit faster and has a better quality camera, but do these features matter that much? Of course Apple and other manufacturers wouldn’t want you to think so, but consider companies such as iPhonefixed who are intent on keeping these older phones going for longer than their marketable lifetime.

It is a colossal waste. With the average phone contract lasting a couple of years, the latest and smartest phone will replace the old one, despite it largely doing the exact same thing the previous phone did. These old phones will likely sit in people’s drawers, with some intent of being used again sometime, for some other purpose, but ultimately, they’ll end up in the landfill. And of course, this only accounts for the phones that actually last the length of the contract, as a vast majority of phones will get dropped, or submerged in water, and be rendered useless. These units can be repaired. They do not need to be replaced!

The cost to the environment is immense. The cost to people is immense. The majority of these phones will end up in landfill, polluting the environment as the CBS report above mentions. But then there are the phones and other e-trash that actually makes it to being recycled. Where do these end up? In a small town in China, mountains of old electronic items are sent for the workers to extract the valuable metals from them. The name of this town is Guiyu.

Pictures speak a thousand words, and Time magazine published a series of photos from this town. In it, we see rivers of black ash, people being poisoned by working in conditions that could never be allowed to exist in the west, and mountains of discarded circuit boards, plastic casings. One very sad fact of this village is that the children suffer from a very high rate of lead poisoning.

Consider now the amount of work and energy that has gone into developing the device. Then, the amount of work taken in extracting the materials needed for the device. These materials have to be transported to places where they can be purified and treated. Then once again, transported to the factory to be turned into the product. The product then needs to be transported throughout the world in order to be sold. People then drive and purchase the product. They use it for a year or two. Then they are thrown out and discarded. And then cycle repeats for the next newest iPhone, which really isn’t that drastically different from the previous incarnation!

Isn’t this is a massive waste in resources, materials, and damage to the environment and people? Isn’t it completely ridiculous when you stop to think about it?

And yet, it is so simple to stop, or at least slow it all down. Do you really need a new phone that often? Could you consider using the same phone for 3 years, or more to help slow this waste and pollution down? It really is something that could be done by every one of us. And the time to stop is now. Keep your phone. Keep it protected, make sure it is safe, and if any damage happens to it, get it fixed. It’s not difficult to repair an iPhone, and if you are unsure, there are plenty of places where it can be fixed.

So make a difference. Make your current phone last for the next few years.

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Consumer Products

Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products

Cleaning ProductsWe’re all in the same boat—we’re hearing horrible stories on the news concerning natural disasters that keep getting worse and all we can do is our part to take care of the environment. It’s a daunting task, but everything great starts at home. This is no different! Changing over to products that are safer and less damaging to the environment is easy when you know where to start. If you’re lost regarding how to start finding the kinds of products that will get the job done but help the environment, check out the top five environmentally friendly products below.

Murchinson-Hume Everyday Furniture Spritzer

This is a great product because not only is it safe for the environment, and safe to use around pets and children, but it’s been proven to get rid of grime and dust each time. It’s safe to use on wood or fabric, so don’t worry about accidentally ruining your grandma’s favorite chair. It’s pretty cheap too, coming at just about ten dollars.

Laundress Surface Cleaner

This product is biodegradable and safe to use on any surface. Tried time and time again, people have claimed that this product can get just about anything to shine. If you’re hoping to switch to a cleaner that will get the job done without the harsh chemicals, this is your chance. It sells for about twelve dollars, but it’s definitely worth each cent.

Greenworks Free and Clear Laundry Detergent

Finding the right kind of detergent is almost impossible, especially if you’re looking for a cleaner option. This stuff has two great things to brag about. One, it’s safe to use and has been tested to not irritate the skin. Two, it’s just as powerful as bleach, but won’t dull your clothes in the same way harsh cleaners will. This product is ready to clean your clothes without harming you or the environment—and all for about twelve dollars a bottle.

Every Day Stain and Odor Remover

Whether the stain is on your clothes or on a carpet, this environmentally friendly cleaner is bound to do the trick. It doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, so your rugs and clothes are safe. It smells great and will leave anything that was once dirty smelling and looking fantastic. It’s a great buy for only six dollars.

Meyers Lavender Surface Wipes

This is a huge deal for anyone with a toddler, or who finds themselves often clumsy. Not only are the wipes already moist, but they are also biodegradable. On top of that, they don’t use any harmful chemicals that would worry anyone around children. They come in a small package, so feel free to stick them in your purse, or keep a few in the car. No matter where you are, these will definitely come in handy. And the best part? They also come in a lemon scent. For just three dollars, this environmentally friendly wipe can be part of your life.

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Consumer Products

Environmentally Friendly Diapers

Baby DiaperWe all know a laundry list of things that are bad for the environment. Plastics are filling up our garbage dumps, and chemicals are destroying our water supply. However, there is a culprit that greatly damages the environment, and does so without most people knowing. That culprit is the diaper.

At some point in your life you’ve been around a small child, and that child has needed a diaper. So how do you ensure that you aren’t damaging the environment while also making sure to take care of your infant? The easiest way to just invest in some diapers that also take care of our planet. Lucky for you, below are the top five brands of environmentally friendly diapers.

1 – Earth’s Best Organic

Earths Best DiapersEverything about this diaper is completely natural and non-toxic, which is great news since it’s going to be sitting next to your baby’s most sensitive areas.

It’s made from naturally absorbent materials such as corn and wheat. And the best news for any parent?

The sides are refastenable, so when you accidentally mess up at four in the morning, it’s no big deal, they’re easy to fix.

 

 

2 – Nature Babycare

Nature BabyCare DiapersThe entire inside is essentially made from our good ol’ friend corn.

Because the inside is made of all natural products, it’s both safe to put on your baby without fears of it irritating or bothering them, but it’ll also break down after you throw it away, which is great news for the earth.

Plus there are no harmful chemicals or toxins anywhere in this diaper.

 

3 – Whole Food’s 365 Everyday Diapers

WholeFoods DiapersThese diapers are guarded against leaks, all while not using any toxic chemicals.

The gel they use is super absorbent, meaning you’ll be able to rest knowing your little one isn’t going to have an accident in bed again.

On top of that, they’re sold at Whole Foods, so whenever you head to your local store, grab a few of them and make sure you always stay in stock.

 

4 – Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation DiapersFor those already into products good for the environment, you’ll be familiar with this brand.

These diapers are made from chlorine-free wood pulp and non-toxic material that’s ready to absorb anything your little one can throw at it.

These diapers won’t disappoint fans of Seventh Generation—they fit right in with the best quality in a safe product for your family and the planet.

 

5 – Tushies

Tushies DiapersThis is the only brand of diaper that’s made completely from cotton. If you’re worried about your baby having sensitivity problems, or worryied about any toxins being in your diapers, this is the solution.

It’s completely natural, but will ensure that at the end of the night, you and your little one are resting comfortably without any worries. And the best part is that this is designed as a disposable diaper, so when you’re done with it, toss it away.