Eco-friendly Smartphones and Laptops for a Greener Future

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Eco-friendly devices offer plenty of benefits such as energy efficiency and conservation and low environmental impact. Smartphones come with features such as solar chargers, a wide selection of apps that reduce the need for peripheral devices, and a lot more. Eco-friendly laptops consume less energy because they are lightweight and slim and have power-saving features.

Green Devices and Good Practices

Manufacturers are rated based on their practices and policies on waste reduction, climate change, recycling, toxic substances and chemicals, and more. When it comes to smartphones, multi-functionality is the key to finding an eco-friendly device. Your mobile phone is also your calculator, GPS navigation, e-reader, event planner, internet browser, digital camera, and a lot more. The more features a device has, the more eco-friendly it is. And the fewer high-tech gadgets you use, the lower your impact on the environment. Of course, there are other green options such as buying a second hand device or keeping your old one instead of upgrading. If you are looking for a new device, however, ask about the materials and fabrics, whether recycled or reusable materials are used, and where they come from. Read more about the manufacturing process, pollution, energy use, conservation efforts, and more. Find out whether it is easy to recycle the device. Consider whether the manufacturer uses green materials and renewable sources of energy such as solar or wind power. Do they have a policy to repurpose or recycle products as to reduce waste and extend the useful life of devices? Do manufacturers participate in green initiatives and projects?

Features of Green Smartphones

Eco-friendly smartphones are manufactured with up to 80 percent recycled consumer waste. They come with efficient chargers that notify the user when the device is done charging. The smartphone contains no flame retardants, phthalates, PVC, and other harmful compounds. Features to consider include: dual SIM setup, radio capability, Bluetooth, free apps, a color screen, and others. Some cell phones also come with sun-powered charges. Charging your phone for 3 hours gives you 1 ½ hours of talk time. This is great for frequent travelers to developing countries and those who live in remote areas that are not connected to the grid or electricity is not accessible everywhere.


Laptops usually contain non-biodegradable components, heavy metals, and other harmful compounds. The key to manufacturing eco-friendly laptops is to reduce the level of dangerous compounds used, including mercury, lead, and others. One option is to find sustainable alternatives that cause no or little environmental pollution. Some manufacturers offer laptops that are free of brominated flame retardants, PVC, and toxic chemicals. Other companies use recycled post-consumer content and reusable materials to produce green computers and laptops.

Batteries, Warranties, and Updates

Battery life and improved energy efficiency are two of the most important factors when buying a new laptop. Pick a laptop with a battery life of 6 to 8 hours. The lifespan of the device is also an important consideration. Purchasing an eco-friendly device doesn’t make sense if it would last a couple of months. To this, it pays to research which manufacturers offer replaceable parts for their products. Some laptops can be updated and upgraded to increase their useful life. Look for eco-friendly laptops with a long warranty period, for example, 5 years. Of course, using your old laptop or buying an updated second hand device are options that are good for the environment. You can install newer software to update your device as well.

You may also want to choose a manufacturer with good practices when it comes to pollution, worker rights, and e-waste. Look at factors such as hazardous processes and ethically friendly policies.

Getting Rid of Your Old Phone

The best thing to do is to use the device for longer but if you plan to upgrade, consider recycling your old phone. You will contribute to waste reduction while recycling can make you some extra cash (up to a few hundred dollars). Some companies purchase old mobile devices and refurbish and resell them. Cell phones that cannot be refurbished are usually recycled.

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