The 49th annual Earth Day is next Monday, April 22. Earth Day is the anniversary of the modern environmental movement started in 1970, and is now recognized all over the world.
It’s estimated more than one billion people across 192 countries now celebrate Earth Day, participating in campaigns to fight climate change, reduce pollution or — as is the theme of Earth Day 2019 — protect our species.
With initiatives like committing to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2021, remodeling its headquarters to be more eco-friendly and planting 27,000 trees through The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign, T-Mobile leads the wireless industry in going green.
With wireless technology, it’s easier than ever to practice sustainability where you live, work or play. But going green isn’t just about helping the planet; it’s also an opportunity to save some serious time and money. Here are T-Mobile’s tips on how you can use wireless technology to add a little more green to the world and your pocket:
1. Go paperless
According to The Nature Conservancy, “American forests filter 50 percent of the nation’s water supply and absorb 12 percent of U.S. carbon emissions.” Going paperless not only helps preserve forests but can also help you avoid sifting through hundreds of pages to find what you need or having to carry around heavy books and folders — not to mention you’ll be able to use the money you spend on paper for something else.
Paperless billing is one way to go. More than 75 percent of T-Mobile’s customers now opt for online billing, which saves thousands of trees each year. Most banks, utility providers and other companies provide an option for paperless billing as well. Beyond saving trees, paperless billing allows you to access your bills from a mobile device anytime, anywhere — no more missed bills or late payments.
Another way to go paperless is to switch from a notebook to a tablet, which are often lighter and smaller than a traditional notebook. Even if you prefer to hand write notes, opt for a tablet or phone with a stylus.
2. Go virtual
One of the most obvious benefits of wireless technology is that it enables us to stay connected on the go.
For work, holding virtual meetings over the phone or through video chat services like Skype can help you avoid the hassle and stress of sitting in stop-and-go traffic or waiting in long airport lines. More employers are recognizing the benefits of telecommuting, such as flexibility, increased productivity, decreased workplace distraction and, of course, a reduction in harmful emissions from cars and planes.
3. Trade in, recycle or buy pre-owned devices
T-Mobile knows that people love getting the hottest new devices, but you should know your options before spending hundreds of dollars on the latest smartphone.
Anthropocene Magazine notes: “Making a phone accounts for 85–95 percent of [the device’s] annual carbon footprint because manufacturing its electronics and mining the metals that go into them is energy-intensive.” Because cell phones contain precious metals, recycling not only conserves these materials, but also helps prevent pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Instead of tossing old devices in the trash or forgetting them in a drawer, trade them in for cash or a store credit toward a new phone. Or if you have an older phone or accessories, recycle them. Most tech retailers offer in-store or mail-in recycling options. Of the more than 3.9 million used devices and accessories T-Mobile collected in 2018, a whopping 85 percent of the hardware was reused or resold and the rest was responsibly recycled.
If you don’t mind having a device that’s been gently used, consider buying pre-owned. You’ll receive a refurbished phone that’s like new for a significantly discounted price. After all, the eco-friendliest device is the one that already exists.
If you’re participating in Earth Day festivities, we hope you have a blast. But remember, Earth Day is every day. With these tips you can be sustainable, save time and put more money in your pocket.