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How to be Greener with your Smartphone and Tablet Choices

John Sprout-smith

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Read our smart guide on how to choose the greenest tablet or smartphone and do your part for the sustainable future of technology.

It is important for all of us to take some responsibility with selecting greener or more environmentally-aware products. We all have a part to play in creating a sustainable future. By making small changes we can make big differences.

There has been a lot of studies on the green rankings and environmental ratings of green electronic gadgets. On the whole these organisations look at everything from Televisions to Mobiles, Tablets to Kindles. Some of the entities which test and research these things include:

  • Ethical Consumer - a website providing a comprehensive guide of the top manufacturers and their scores out of 20 for eco-friendliness.
  • Guide to Greener Electronics – a research article published annually by Greenpeace which focusses on energy, climate, greener electronics and sustainable operations to determine a company’s score out of 10.
  • EPEAT – a register that ranks global electronic companies by evaluating them on their green designs and cleaner production and based on their ratings offers EPEAT certification.

When a manufacturer is being evaluated for their eco-friendliness they are being judged on several factors:

  • What materials are used?
  • Where do the materials come from?
  • How was the product manufactured with regard to worker conditions and pay, energy usage, and pollution?Where did the packaging come from and how was it made?
  • How energy efficient is the device?
  • How easy it is to recycle and what waste products will it leave behind at the end of its life?

Determining the ‘Greenest’ manufacturer of smartphones or iPads is rather impossible as it depends on the criteria you intend to rate them on which will determine the outcome. On the Greenpeace rating system Apple gets a score of 4.5 out of ten whereas Samsung achieve a 4.2. When applying the criteria of environment and product sustainability used by Ethical Consumer the HTC scores 10 out of 20. Another independent organisation decided to look at just the amount of hazardous materials used in mobile phones. The lower the score the more green it was and the less potential hazard it has.

Here are their top five least hazardous phones:

  • Motorola Citrus is the greenest smart phone with a score of 2.56
  • iPhone 4S is second with 2.69
  • LG Remarq also with a score of 2.69
  • Samsung Captivate has a rating of 2.71
  • iPhone 5 scores 2.75

Looking at the mobile phone and tablet markets from an eco-friendly perspective there is not one brand or model that scores highly on every green criteria. If you are set on buying an environmentally friendly smartphone or tablet then take your time to look at a few independent assessments and judge for yourself. You may find a green mobile phone from a company who does not score that well as a whole.

Whichever one you do choose, Sprout will be here to offer you mobile phone cases, tablet cases, screen protectors, technology news, advice and tips so you can get the most out of your favourite technology device.


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