Tuesday, 9 June 2009

How NOT to save CO2!

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Mobile phones are an inescapable part of modern life and are constant consumer of energy. They use energy and resources and produce CO2 at all stages of their 'life-span'. So, many of us would like to minimise their impact on the environment. The question is 'how'?

Manufacturers don't make it easy to work out the impact of their products and everyone's usage varies so its difficult to know what the total impact is. However, what we do know is that energy that is wasted, such a when phones are left on standby, has a negative impact on the environment. Its been calculated that this wastes enough energy to power 33,000 homes for a whole year in the UK alone!

Also, by changing our phones on a frequent basis means that we are probably wasting more energy than we think... after all, each phone we buy has used up energy and resources in its manufacture, distribution, packaging, promotion and design (of publicity, marketing and advertising). As phones don't actually create energy (unlike wind turbines), each phone we own has an ecological cost.

So, you might think that getting a solar charger for your mobile phone would make sense.... think again! A solar charger needs a battery to store the electricity it generates from the sun and this will last about two years. Over the two years, the actual money saved amounts to @ 32p (based on average use) and a saving of @ 1.5 kg of CO2. This is very unlikely to make up for the CO2 created in its manufacture! So, don't bother getting a solar charger, unless you can share it with the whole family and use it all the time... even then the battery might wear out quicker and defeat the whole point!

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