Lately we have been seeing more commercials from wireless carriers who are finding alternatives to the old upgrade programs. When a user upgrades a phone, the options for disposing of the old cell phone are usually limited. Sell it on eBay. Give it to a friend. Donate it in a collection box at the grocery store. Eventually, cell phones wind up in a landfill. According to Paulie Anthony at e-cycle.com, only about 14-17% of cell phones are recycled each year. This results in approximately 130 million devices being tossed each year.
Being environmentally-conscious is also a spiritual issue. The creation story in Genesis states that man was created to "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground." (Gen 1:28, Biblegateway. People of most faiths have come to understand that humans bear a responsibility of stewardship over the earth. Conservation and "going green" have come to encompass more than just erosion and not using up resources. Doing what we can to protect the environment is a spiritual responsibility as well as one of morality and common sense.
In addition to all of that, some of the latest alternatives are simply cool. What if, instead of upgrading your cell phone to a new one and discarding the old one, you could just uprade or change out the parts you no longer wanted and keep the rest? Dave Hakken has come up with just that idea. Interchangeable parts. Modular pieces for each function of your device. Install the parts based on the priorities you have for your needs. You build it the way you want it and when your needs change, so does your device. Flexibility is the key here and it would greatly reduce the impact of technological change on the environment.
The problem is that Hakken's idea is just that ... an idea. He has started a worldwide campaign aimed at besieging existing manufacturers with requests to start implementing his idea. Using Thunderclap, he has a link from his website for people to join the effort. His concept is that having a deluge of people contact manufacturers on October 29 will result in those businesses realizing that a huge market exists for creating a universal modular platform. Watch the video attached to this article for details. It may not be a quest for world peace, but it is certainly a quest for taking care of our piece of the world.