Planting Trees with Old Cellphones or iPods
My son left his new iPod in his pants on the day of his birthday party. He wanted to share the cool photos of the muscle cars in the iPod's photos. Imagine my shock when my husband came to me with iPod in hand and an irritated look. What do you think happened? The iPod took a bath in the worst way possible: in the washing machine.
Of course, Apple couldn't do anything about it except offer a 10 percent discount for the next purchase. I found a new iPod for him cheaper than the Apple store's even with 10 percent off. I had a very nice looking iPod with no working insides (yes, we waited over a week for it to dry) and I couldn't throw it away.
Shortly after this, I learned about FlipSwap. Though focused on cell phones, it included iPods. I happened to have a cracked cell phone needing recycling. You can either trade online or find a nearby store using your zip code. These stores tend to be cell phone and communications stores. Not only do you recycle useless phones the right way, but also FlipSwap plants a tree through the company's reLeaf project with its partner, CarbonFund.org, for each recycled phone. The service costs nothing and even helps you with shipping by having you print out a pre-paid shipping label.
In case you're wondering like I was, here's why they take water-damaged phones and take care of shipping fees:
"If the device has been water damaged, then it typically has to be recycled. We work with Sims Recycling Solutions to properly recycle all devices that cannot be salvaged and plant a tree for every one of these devices that we can't offer credit or cash for. For other devices that can be salvaged, we may be able to use parts to give other phones a second life or work to refurbish the phones and help get them into the hands of people who couldn't previously afford them. We want to provide valuable and meaningful incentives to consumers to establish socially responsible behavior – that's why we incur the cost of shipping, recycling and planting a tree even when a device has no monetary value. That's our commitment to the global community as a socially responsible company," says Courtney Carlisle, a representative for the company.