Help the planet by donating old cell phones

Imagine all of the cell phones owned by all of the wireless users around the world. Good. Now, imagine how often those people replace their phones. Can you see all of the millions and millions of phones we’re talking about now? That’s an enormous amount of plastic, glass and other materials we’re pretty sure don’t biodegrade very quickly. They pile in dumps and landfills. Some probably wind up in that disturbing “Garbage Patch” in the North Pacific. Gross.

By recycling your phones – selling them or donating them to a shop that does cell phone repair and sells refurbished cell phones – you could minimize the environmental impact of all those millions of disposable phones. Not to mention your own environmental footprint.

Two student groups at Texas Tech are doing just that. And they’re also helping soldiers. The Tech Activities Board and the Veterans Association are doing a month-long drive for cell phones in April, according to this piece in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal.  The drive will benefit the non-profit Cell Phones For Soldiers, which provides deployed and returning troops free means of communication with family while they’re serving in the military by selling donated phones to a company that refurbishes or recycles them and using the money for calling cards.

According to its website, Cell Phones for Soldiers since 2004 has raised more than $7 million, provided more than 114 million minutes of free talk time, and regularly mail around 12,000 calling cards each week. And, last but certainly not least, they’ve recycled more than 8.3 million cell phones that would have gone into landfills.

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