24/08/2021

World Water Week: How Much Water Does Your Smartphone Use?

We have a guest post here from a talented and passionate writer Olivia Wood who wanted to talk about water usage in mobile phones and tech in time for World Water Week that started on the 23rd of August. So, read on and enjoy!

There are currently more than 3 billion smartphone users around the globe who use their phones daily to send texts, share photos and play their favourite games. Smartphones allow people to use the internet from virtually anywhere in the world with one simple click - users literally have the internet at their fingertips!

While mobile internet access certainly has its perks, using the internet so regularly is beginning to harm our planet. According to DigiPlex insights, ‘the connection between each mouse click or smartphone app to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere has long been known but is just beginning to be understood by consumers. It seems that smartphones were the silent destruction that nobody seemed to be talking about.

Thankfully, recent innovations may be paving the way to a greener smartphone future. This article will highlight the effects of mobile phone usage on the planet and will discuss some of the innovations that could be the solutions that we need.

How Do Smartphones Affect Water Usage?

We know and understand that there are many aspects to the lifetime emissions of a mobile phone, and these are very basically collected into 4 groups, mining, manufacture and distribution, usage and end-of-life, (read more about the environmental impact of your smartphone here).

The reason that smartphones release CO2 into the air lies behind the energy that is required to power wireless networks and to run the devices themselves. You charge your phone using electricity and your Wi-Fi will also be powered by a similar source of fuel. The more you use your smartphone, the more energy will be required to keep it running.

As CO2 levels rise, the Oceans do their part and absorb the carbon dioxide into the water - this is done to try and balance the CO2 that is in the air. This process has been keeping our air balanced for millions of years, but too much CO2 can cause seawater to become acidic, ruining the habitats of millions of species. If CO2 keeps rising, we will slowly destroy our oceans!

13 Tonnes of Water per Smartphone

Not only are smartphones damaging our oceans, making smartphones uses huge amounts of water which must be filtered and cleaned before usage, consequently using colossal amounts of energy. The average smartphone requires 13 tons of water to be made, imagine how much water is used each year to manufacture the billions of new phones!

With World Water Week now in motion, it could be the perfect time to rethink our smartphone usage and try to implement more sustainable behaviours into our lives. One way to start is to dramatically reduce the yearly upgrade cycle and switch to buying refurbished phones.

Keeping up with innovations in the smartphone industry is a great way to start adopting more sustainable behaviours yourself. With World Water Week happening now, it may be time for you to reconsider your smartphone habits and try to adopt a more environmentally friendly mindset towards your phone.

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