Top sustainability benefits of refurbished phones – and why they matter

Most of us would hazard a guess that buying a refurbished iPhone is better for the environment. But what is it that really makes a used phone better for the world than its brand-new counterpart?

Refurbished mobile phones aren’t covered in stickers proclaiming their sustainability benefits. And even with the best in the business refurbishing all the phones that come through our workshops, spotting the difference between a used iPhone and a new one is near impossible.

The triumph of the used phone lies in what you can’t see. The unassuming refurbished phone really is helping to save the planet. But how were you to know when your reconditioned iPhone 12 looks just like the one wrapped in a cellophaned box?   

love mobile phone

Yes, with cheaper prices you know your pocket benefits, but there’s so much more to it than that.

So, to get you in the know on why buying a used phone is better for ur world, our world, all the world – here’s your guide to the top sustainability benefits.

What is sustainability?

Simply put, sustainability means meeting our needs with what we have already – before exhausting the world’s resources to make something new. By doing this, we help to ensure future generations will be able to meet their own needs.

Sustainability encourages people and businesses to frame decisions in terms of environmental, social, and human impact for the long-term, rather than on short-term gains. For instance, if acting sustainably, a refurbished phone company should consider more factors than simply the immediate profit or loss.

Why does sustainability matter?

The world’s resources aren’t endless. If we keep chipping away at them without thinking about the consequences, we’ll be digging a hole we can’t get out of. In other words, there will be no way back from the irreversible damage caused by our disregard for the world.

Choosing to change our behaviour to be sustainable means that we’re actively looking at ways to preserve the planet and its resources, for the next generation to enjoy. 

How does producing new phones harm the environment?

The environmental cost of owning the latest new phone is huge. CO₂ produced by the manufacture of smartphones is predicted to reach 125 megatons in 2020, and by 2040 will account for 14% of all CO2 emissions.

And the fact that the iPhone 12 will create 70kg of CO₂ over its lifetime, exemplifies how the constant manufacture and purchase of new phones is adding to the rising carbon levels in the atmosphere.

electronic phone waste

To put that volume of CO₂ into context, consider that 120 million mobile phones are purchased every month worldwide. Those phones all part of a technology stockpile of e-waste, of which sadly only 17.4% is recycled. All of this accounts for an unimaginable amount of e-waste polluting the planet.

How does buying refurbished phones help?

Choosing to buy refurbished phones won’t eliminate the problem, but it will help to start turning the tide. Each time a phone is used, recycled or refurbished, that’s one less than ends up in landfill.

In the UK alone, we throw away 1.45 million tonnes of electronic waste each year, enough to fill Wembley Stadium more than six times over. And one of the saddest parts to that story is that there could be a different ending.

So much of what we throw out still has life left in it, if not for the current owner, but for someone else. Choosing to refurbish an existing device means that you’re engaging with a process that can generate up to 77% less CO₂ than it does to make a new one from scratch. 

But what about owning the latest phone model?

If you are edging to the front of the queue for the latest iPhone model – with all its promise of new functionality and radical features, there’s something you’re not being told. The differences between each iteration of the iPhone are minimal, and almost all the software functionality can be downloaded onto older devices with the most up to date iOS release.

By opting for a refurbished iPhone 10, you’re actually no worse off than if you went for a newer model. In fact, you’re better off, because you’ve chosen to save your pennies and your planet.

What is ur doing to support the sustainability benefits of refurbished phones?

At ur we’ve been in the business of saving phones from landfills for years. Re-directing used phones via our UK workshops, so they can be lovingly restored to their former glory by our technical gurus.

refurbished mobile phones

But we do more than that. We also make it super easy for you to return ur phone to us when you’ve used it and we reward you when you do.

What’s more is that by partnering with Ecologi, every time you buy a ur phone, we plant a tree and when you return it, we plant two more.

We pay to plant trees for every ur purchase and trade in. These leafy do-gooders help take more CO₂ out of the atmosphere and fund a whole host of sustainability projects too.

This makes our sustainability pledge an even greener one. It’s our refurb revolution. And now it’s yours too.

Love it. Use it. Return it.

Shop our iPhones now.

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