Friday, January 11, 2008

What do 150 million disposed cell phones look like?

In "It's the Mobile Things that Count," it was mentioned that 150 million cell phones are disposed annually. Picturing that much waste is nearly impossible, it's such a staggering number few of us can truly comprehend what that might look like.

Chris Jordan, a photographic artist in Seattle, attempts to bridge that disconnect in his latest series Running the Numbers. With his images, he creates a visual connection to the staggering statistics of American life. What do 170,000 disposable batteries look like (the amount Energizer manufactures in 15 minutes)? What do 2 million plastic bottles look like (the amount used in the US every 5 minutes)? Or 60,000 plastic bags (the number thrown away every 5 seconds)?

So how can we use less and waste less?

Instead of having seperate cell phones for work and personal use, just use one. A handful of phones even have dual line capability so you keep your work and personal lines seperate on the same phone. That also cuts down on packaging, instructions, chargers, and maybe more importantly is one fewer device to carry around everyday.

Use rechargable batteries, which often have longer life per charge than disposable alkalines, and cost less over time (4 reusable batteries AA batteries and a charger cost less than $20, and should last a few hundred charge cycles). So you eliminate waste, save money, and get better performance per charge.

Oh, and while he doesn't show us what 150 million cell phones look like at once, he does manage to squeeze 426,000 of them into an image (the number we dispose of each day in the US). You'll just have to picture 365 of those images next to each other.


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The BlueDot said...

Our company The Blue Dot is taking strides to prevent landfill waste like this. Our company offers quality previously owned and refurbished cell phones. Come check us out at http:/

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