Well, what phone should I buy then?

2014gam98apr-may-fix-it-flow250wAs word spreads about the dangerous chemicals used in electronics manufacturing, we have been getting asked “well, what phone should I buy then?”

For smartphones and other electronics, the best way to ensure your next phone does not contribute to worker abuse is to buy a used or refurbished phone.  Before you make the choice to buy though, you may try to fix the phone you have (if broken) or simply pledge not to upgrade needlessly.  Phone manufacturers and service providers like to encourage customers to upgrade their devices at least every year, but phones can in fact work for much longer.

We put together a flow chart to help you choose your next phone.

iFixit is also a great resource to learn how to repair your electronics and order needed parts.

Mobile Karma is a great resource for used phones, and they help to divert phones from ending up in landfills.

If and when your phone does stop working, recycle it with an e-Stewards recycler.

e-Stewards recyclers are certified monitored by the nonprofit Basel Action Network to ensure that they recycle e-waste responsibly and do not ship it overseas where workers in scrapyards are exposed to dangerous work with without protection.

Green Americans know that when we make purchases we are voting with our dollars, and we want to know that our spending does not finance unsafe working conditions or unfair treatment. By pledging not to upgrade, fixing your phone, or buying you are helping to curb the ever-growing demand for new, exploitative phones.

Do you have any other tips for choosing electronics responsibly?


  1. I’m searching for meltdown proof nuclear and came across “Green America”. Wow, I was excited… until I saw that it was just another ration pitch’n, nuclear hating, and thus, unscientific website.

    Gee, what cell phone, hmmm, that would be the one that uses a LiFePO4 battery (no thermal issues and 4x the cycle life). But that would be too good to be true now, wouldn’t it! (duh, no wonder why they don’t make ’em). Because silly people like “green America” always go with the status quo (and with green peace, and other nuclear haters, we (as in the generally dis-informed public) will fall into the trap of embracing a “conserve till the last drop” mentality, a “better to use fossil fuels than to re-develop advanced nuclear” type of sicko thinking. You silly people think that a few old and broken solar panels and worn out wind turbines will save my children’s day??? Get real!

    Do NOT fall into the trap that is the excuse of excess CO2. NO, it is very real (and should NOT be used as just an excuse to bind the freedom (that ENERGY gives us) as a “solution”. You people pitch Al Gore (but he was anti-nuclear). Now you peapool don’t realize that Alvin Weinberg (a REAL scientist and inventor/co-inventor of MULTIPLE fission reactor designs) had it right from the get go, that is, he accurately predicted today’s ppm CO2 in 1976 (and obviously warned of the heating that would occur). Problem though, all you silly uneducated science hating “greens” are out to do one thing and one thing only: get your ever so important voice heard (just like me). By doing so, the Holocene as we know it will become, once again, due to too much CO2, an alien death scape. Yes, GIGADEATH.
    In otherwords, promote the most abundant CO2 free source regardless of little ittsy bitty waste issues (and there does NOT have to be any possibility of mentdowns, search Alvin Weinberg.

    I also believe that you guys don’t want anybody else to have energy because when confronted, most “enviro greens” like yourselves say “Oh no, we must not cover the deserts with solar! Well, I did the energy math and it says “close to 2% of the land needs to be covered in order to power 10 billion at near Western levels (yes, I already assumed efficiency improvements).

    Some people live off the grid (and I think that’s just grreeaat). Do they have a car, a generator, solar panels, wind turbines, computers and TV’s. Do they have beds and other furniture, appliances, bicycles, etc (I hope so)? Realize that these things required a factory (most probably in China) which uses more coal than these people could EVER offset via their (energy) expensive solar panels. Realize that not everybody will have the resources to live off the land, and that there is TOO MANY PEOPLE already!

    I think that it is great that people will actually conserve and use efficient items like led lights (Cree is the best) but we can’t get lost in that. We must do our REAL JOB of promoting advanced nuclear!

    Any other way is just waiting (or prolonging the amount of excess CO2) to burn the biosphere. Warming causes melted icecaps which causes stratification of ocean layers which causes anoxia which brings forth hydrogen sulfide bacteria which is death… GIGADEATH.
    Ocean acidification caused by carbonic acid (from excess CO2) causes death of shellfish which causes loss of biodiversity, killing off entire food chains which ALSO inhibits natural CO2 sequester into limestone (another route to gigadeath).

    So, do you now continue to believe in you old ways and say “but a solar panel and a shutting off the light” will save us?

    F orever
    E leminate
    A davnced
    R eactors?????????

    The greatest thing to fear is fear itself 😉

    • I forgot to add that when I said “too many people”, I meant that 7 billion can not be supported by natural means because we use fossil fuels to make fertalizer for food (the original green revolution was GREAT!). I also meant for the current lifestyle of fossil fueled depletion.

      Advanced, meltdown proof, high temp, non water cooled reactors which mass producion, GLOBAL deployment, operation and which wastes recycling are fully standarnized can actually power hundreds of billions of people (but it won’t have to because as people achieve Western standards, they reproduce less, thus maxing out at a target of about 10 or 11 billion before true steady state).

      Each person needs the equivalent of about 50,000Kwh/year. After efficiency improvements, this should also be enough to properly sequester that planet killing >500,000,000,000,000 tons of excess CO2.

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