Say hello to a greener world
- Kathy Moran () - March 8, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The environment we live in is so polluted. All you have to do is look out your window in the morning — whether at home or even from your car — there is some form of trash out there. 

Even our rooms or personal spaces are sometimes filled with trash — trash that we eventually throw out into the streets and create more pollution from. 

And then there is recycling. I know it’s nothing new, but really, how many of us have really gotten into the habit of doing so? I know I haven’t. There are lots of things in my room that I know should be recycled.  Although I may be a believer, my actions follow quite slowly.

“I have noticed that Filipinos are conscious of the need to recycle,” said William Hamilton Whyte, general manager, Nokia Philippines. “There are pocket areas where there is more effort in conserving and preserving the environment. However, among the biggest challenges that people are facing are poverty and education.”     

Did you know that you can recycle your cell phone? Nokia has a phone take-back program, which, according to them is one of the most advanced in the industry, and is part of a global effort to encourage responsible recycling worldwide. 

A recent Nokia global consumer survey showed that only three percent of people recycle their mobile phones. Three out of every four people don’t even think about recycling their devices while nearly half are unaware that it’s even possible to do so. If each of the three billion people globally owning mobiles brought back just one unused device, 240,000 tons of raw materials will be saved, which will help reduce greenhouse gases.

“Using the best recycling technology, nothing is wasted,” said Whyte. “Between 65 and 80 percent of a Nokia device can be recycled. Plastics that can’t be recycled are burnt to provide energy for the recycling process, and other materials are ground up into chips and used as construction materials or for building roads. This way nothing has to go to a landfill.”

In this light, Nokia is on the move to promote its local E-cycling program with Bantay Kalikasan for its Recycle Your Phone project. 

Matter of fact, they even held a recycle and run event recently where environment advocates dropped their old phones, batteries, chargers, and accessories in Nokia recycling bins.

Nokia is committed to make a donation to Bantay Kalikasan for every kilo of raw material collected. The funds will go to the continued rehabilitation of La Mesa Watershed, which includes reforestation-cum-watershed management.

Green And Go

Whyte believes that many Pinoys already know about Nokia’s take-back and recycling program or have actually dropped off old phones/chargers/accessories, but a majority of folks out there are still in the dark about Nokia’s efforts to recycle cell phones. 

“Remember, in this country, there is a big market for second-hand phones,” added Whyte. 

“It’s up to consumers to decide what they want to do with their devices, but we offer them a way to recycle them safely if they no longer need them,” said Markus Terho, director for environmental affairs, Nokia. “Based on our global survey last year, only three percent recycle their mobile phones despite the fact that most have old devices lying around at home that they no longer want. Others are giving their mobiles another life in different ways, one quarter are passing on their old phones to friends or family, and 16 percent are selling their used devices, particularly in emerging markets.” 

So, we wonder, does good for the environment mean less high tech?

Environmental concerns have played a key role in the way Nokia designs and produces all its newer cell phones. Matter of fact, in the recently launched Nokia 5630 XpressMusic, there are many of Nokia’s latest energy-saving features and environmentally engaging software. Nokia is committed to making more of this kind of cell phones from now on.   

“We consider the environment in all devices, including the most advanced ones,” added Terho. “The environmental features add to the experience and do not compromise it. In fact, high-tech, converged mobile devices use around 1/13th of the energy to surf the Internet compared to a laptop.”

For the Finnish company, making the world a greener place is on top of its priorities. Yes, the company is aware that staying connected with people is a need for all of us — but better to stay connected without doing damage to the world we live in, right?

 “We don’t just market green, we put our environmental improvements into all of them,” added Terho.  “We want consumers to know that when they buy a Nokia they can be sure that the environment has been considered in its making.”

Time to find a Nokia recycling bin.

* * *

For those who want to donate their old phones, batteries, and accessories and help with the environmental cause, Nokia has collection bins in all Nokia Care Centers and select Nokia Stores, as well as in ABS CBN, Ayala Cinemas, and at the Power Plant Mall.

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