Many of us are concerned about the environment, but as Kermit the Frog once said, “It’s not easy being green.” Very few people would say that cell phones are energy efficient. Energy efficient options often come with a price tag that is hard on our wallets and we are often forced to decide between conservation and cost. Unfortunately, our wallets usually come out ahead in this game. There is, however, a way to be greener and save money at the same time. By following these eight simple steps you will make your cell phone energy efficient and you can save some of your hard-earned cash.
1. Unplug your charger
A phone charger that is plugged in will continue to use power. If you have ever touched a warm charger that means that the unit was still drawing power and instead of feeding the power to your cell phone it was converting the electricity to heat, which it dispersed into the atmosphere. Many cell phone chargers also have a small light to show that there is power, this light is a continual draw on energy. To save energy, unplug the charger when not in use.
2. Reduce the Backlight
Frequently, the backlighting on the cell phone screen is set to 100% to give you maximum brightness and visibility, but for most people, this isn’t required. A setting of 70-90 percent is usually more than enough backlighting and odds are pretty good that you would hardly notice the difference. Many phones today will allow you to dim or brighten the backlighting of your screen. Reduce the backlight setting to a point where you can still easily read it under a bright light. This will increase the life of your battery and save energy.
3. Sleep Mode
If your phone remains lit up and active for a few minutes after you’ve stopped using it, then energy is being wasted. Reduce the “awake” time of your phone, so it goes to sleep shortly after you stop using it.
4. Turn Off Your Cell Phone Energy
If you are someplace where you can’t use your phone, such as an airplane or movie theater, then turn it off instead of putting it to silent or vibrate. Your voicemail and missed calls will still be there when you turn your phone back on, plus you get the bonus that you’ve done what many manufacturers recommend in order to keep your software upgraded.
5. Properly Charge Your Battery
If you don’t charge your battery properly, then it will discharge quicker and possibly display the remaining power inaccurately. Poor charging habits will decrease your battery life.
- Never remove your phone from the charger before it is fully charged
- Also, do not leave it on the charger longer than necessary.
- Do not charge it until it is required. When to charge your battery depends on the type you have, this will be marked on the battery itself. If you have a nickel battery it is a good idea to occasionally let the phone fully discharge. If you have a lithium battery, then do not charge it until you have less than 40 percent of your battery life left.
6. Solar is the Way To Go
Solar powered chargers are gaining in popularity as an easy and affordable way to recharge a cell phone. These are great for sunny climates, such as Arizona and Nevada, and the initial cost is quickly offset by the energy savings. If you live in a cloudier region then it may not be the best idea, as it may take too long to charge your phone. Before you buy a solar charger do your research and make sure that it generates enough watts for your phone.
If you do a search, you can find more efficient phones and chargers. Look for chargers with the Energy Star label, as these will be approximately 30 percent more efficient than the chargers without it. You can also find phones that have cases made from recycled materials.
Recycling your old dead cell phone and battery is another way to continue to save energy. Cell phones have a number of different recyclable metals including copper, gold, silver, and palladium. If you are only upgrading and your old cell phone is still functional then there are several charities, shelters, and local organizations that want it.
Energy conservation and our wallets often battle, but by following these eight simple steps, you can keep a few dollars in your pocket while making your cell phone energy efficient. We all need to do our part for the environment, but it doesn’t need to cost us a fortune.