Mrs Green finds something in her wardrobe.

Filed in Blog by on March 3, 2010 6 Comments
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The shocking state of Mrs Green's wardrobe

The shocking state of Mrs Green's wardrobe

You know I’ve been doing my grand wardrobe declutter this month? Well I came across something that I wasn’t quite expecting. Yes, it’s time for a little mobile phone recycling here at Chez Green – again!

You see I tend to be a bit of an ‘old and past it’ person when it comes to modern technology. Laptops – great; but give me Windows XP and not Vista or Window 7. Let me use Word because learning a new programme scares me, however good it might be.

I’m the same with mobile phones. By the time I’ve finally fathomed out where to store a number and how to make a call, let alone actually remembered my own number; I need a lie down. Which is why I tend to hang on to the same mobile as long as I possibly can. Great for my bank balance and the environment it would seem.

I don’t feel the need to surf the ‘net, send an email, tweet when on the toilet, get 2 minute updates from my friends about what colour socks they are wearing or get the latest weather forecast.

But once upon a time I think I did.

Once upon a time I loved gadgets, wanted the latest, the best, the newest and the fastest. I found my way around a new phone in no time at all and was texting with one hand while making a call with the other (or something like that). I gleefully threw away the manual the minute I bought a new phone because I knew I was a technological whizz.

Now I’m more of a technological wuss.

So in the deep cavernous bowels of my wardrobe, I found signs of my past. Yes, I found an old mobile phone.

I remember writing some time ago that 1.3 billion people own a mobile phone across the world but less than 4% of unused mobile phones in the UK were currently recycled. I also remember reading that millions of phones were hiding in drawers and cupboards across the UK. Apparently, two hundred and fifty million phones are discarded every year!

“Not me!” I thought; “I’ve never even OWNED that many different phones”, giving myself a pat on the back for being such a good earth custodian. But it would seem I was wrong.

Fortunately phones no longer need to end up in landfill; which is a good thing, because our windows to the world can leach cadmium, lead, mercury and arsenic if not dealt with properly. I’ve found a mobile phone recycling site which is free to use. More importantly, it couldn’t be easier to find out the best price for your mobile. Well, you might as well make a little money for your troubles, right?

The aptly named Recycle Mobile Phones – you won’t forget that name in a hurry – does all the work for you. They have a comprehensive list of price comparison tables where you will find the best price for your old mobile phone. Even if your ‘phone is not working, you can still sell it!

You can search via phone manufacturer or enter the make and model of the phone into the search form. Adding the incentive of making money by recycling is a great way to keep these valuable resources out of the landfill.

Of course, I wanted to know exactly what happened to my ‘phone once I sent it to Recycle Mobile Phones, so I caught up with Matt Cox who know everything about the business from the inside out. He told me “Mobile phones in working order are checked over and and re-used by others by people who are less fortunate. They might be sent to countries in the developing world or sent to disaster areas, such as Haiti.

Non working phones are either mended or the parts are used to fix other phones which can then be used by other people. Reusing all the usable components and recycling the metals in the handset, lowers the need for new raw materials, as well as lowering the impact on mining for metals on the environment and wildlife.”

Sounds good to me!

If you want to keep up with their latest news, bookmark their blog, where you’ll learn all sorts of recycling facts. Matt has also just started to use Twitter; you can follow him @RecycleMyPhones.

Ok, so my little gem is worth £1.01 (Some of the phones on the site are worth nearly £300!) but as Mr Green says to me “You wouldn’t leave it lying in the street, would you?” So I’m going to pop my pound into Little miss Green’s bunny fund and be grateful that my old phone has found a new lease of life which won’t be hazardous to the environment.

What about you – have you used a mobile phone recycling site; how did you get on?

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (6)

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  1. Sharon says:

    CEX (Computer Exchange) on the high street take old phones for resale, they will give you cash or credit against stuff in their shop. I found an old mobile which they gave me £12 for. I thought it was worthless.

  2. Hoggit says:

    Most schools use mobile phone recycling as a mean of raising funds, the companies used, support their business in the eyes of the school as a means of teaching the children about recycling. If you don’t actually need the funds generated by selling the phone, this is an avenue to consider

  3. sandy says:

    Thanks, I can now send our old phones off, bet we only get a £ also, but hey, its better than nothing, I am now trying not to spend for a whole year. nothing new at all. wish me luck. (I can still use charity shops and swap2shop.brillant site, I have had lots of bargains so far.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @Sharon: £12 wow – well done you!

    @Hoggit: Great idea, Hoggit – thank you!

    @sandy: Wonderful idea for the ‘buy nothing’ year – are you involved with a Compact group or just doing this alone? I would love to take part but I usually fail after about 2 1/2 weeks LOL!

  5. sandy says:

    Hi Mrs G, No I am doing this all alone, I decided last week when we were all out together on a girls (I say that word loosley) night out about 10 of us, when the topic came up about cloths shopping, when a few of my friends said that they go shoppong regulary and never seem to wear the clothes, so I announced that we should all go for a year without buying anything except underwear. well just 2 of us have decided to give it a go, who knows, maybe the rest will join in.

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @Mrs Green: well good luck to the two of you, sandy. Your friends might join in once they realise how much money you are saving and how much easier it is for you to find something to wear!

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