Have you ever asked yourself: What are all these broken cell phones doing in the drawer? And then your “other” voice says: They are not really in the way, I’ll throw them out later.
I had a friend bring me a bag of 6 phones and chargers last week. They were in a box in his garage for 2 years. 6 phones? There are 2 people in his family! We cannot keep up with the cell phone revolution and our landfills should not have to either. To make matters worse, every phone not recovered and recycled is equal to minerals and resources coming directly out of the African Congo. Everyone says – “What can we do?”. Here is what you can do and it really makes a difference.
Bring your cell phone to the zoo for recycling and help save wildlfe, and people, in Africa. Civil wars and rebel groups thrive on the illegal trade in the resources which make our phones, laptops, digital cameras, and video games run. There is a mineral in our phones called coltan and it acts as a capacitor in your phone. Armed groups in eastern Congo that control minerals, mines and trading routes generate an estimated $180 million each year by trading four main minerals: tin, tantalum (colton), tungsten, and gold.
And with these groups comes habitat destruction, illegal poaching and bushmeat, as well as the loss of human life due to the civil unrest. Something as simple as a cell phone has created a power struggle over resources. By recycling that resource so that it can be refurbished and re-used, we cut down on the amount of product imported, and hopefully slow down the trade.
Want to start a company wide collection program? Schools, Scout troops? Wildlife can use everyone’s help. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.