To simplify your phone is a great way to get back into living real life, rather than just spending hours surfing and scrolling, and taking selfies. Of course, one other good way to ‘zero waste your phone’ is to use it less. There’s nothing wrong with a chat, but many people are obsessed with their phones to the point of silliness. From surfing the net to using phones as alarm clocks to fashion accessories. Phones can keep us safe in emergencies. But like electricity, they can be bad in excess. They also make life more stressful, if you are ‘always switched on’.
- Read How to Break Up With Your Phone (a 30-day plan to tidy up apps, prune email and develop a more healthy relationship) and Why Don’t You Get Off Your Phone? (a book of ideas on things to do, other than spend time on our phone: suggestions include learning Cockney rhyming slang and bottling pears!)
- Goodbye Phone, Hello World is a book of 60 ways to disconnect from tech, and features bite-size device-free activities that are scientifically proven to promote true happiness. With wit, wisdom and warmth, award-winning author Paul Greenberg presents practices for connection, mindfulness, conversation, creativity and wellbeing (friendship, family, romance, food, books, sleep, nature and art).
- Stop Checking Your Likes is a book to help you escape the approval trap and accept yourself, with no need for social media. Life coach Susie Moore reveals 14 principles to develop self-worth, and illustrations reasons behind each one.
- 5203 Things to Do (instead of looking at your phone) shows you to put down your phone, close the lid on your laptop, and get back in touch with the wonders of the world around you. This healing little book offers the opportunity to slow down, instead of scrolling down the rabbit hole of cyberspace.
Switch to a greener phone company, and you can be happy knowing that the money you pay for bills, is being used to do some good. These phone companies don’t spend money on big ads, and cost less too. When your contract is up, consider switching over. BT is likely the safest landline choice, just check the deals as like everyone, the choices are a confusing minefield. If you are registered blind or visually impaired, get free directory enquiries (and priority repair) & Blind Person’s Allowance.
- Meem is an ethical mobile network that runs on 99% of EE networks. You can keep your number and the 30-day contract can be cancelled anytime. 10% of profits go to the charity of your choice (and as a small company, deals are good).
- Ecotalk is the new phone company from the founder of green energy company Ecotricity and manager of the world’s greenest football club. Money goes back to nature, to help wildlife and the phone offers 4G with plans for broadband. All calls and texts are powered by the sun and wind, and the simple bundles can save up to 40%.
- GiffGaff offers new and refurbished phones, with simple contracts on 02. You can earn payback points to exchange for money, airtime credit or charity donations.
- Fairphone is a social enterprise in Amsterdam, that sells Fair Trade phones made from recycled materials. You also get money off your next one, when you send old ones back for recycling (you can also send them for repair).
- The Phone Coop is a Fair Tax phone company that is 100% member-owned. The contracts are fair and simple, and they also offer business packages using Fairphone.
- One Unite is a social enterprise to save bills for charities, schools, nurseries and nursing homes. Up to 80% of profits go back to you.
Sell or Recycle Your Mobile Phone
If you have an unused mobile phone sitting in the cupboard, many cupboards will buy them off you. If you have a quality phone, you can ask for a pre-paid envelope with details on how to wipe data, and money is paid instantly into your account.
giffgaff is a new kind of mobile network if you’re fed up of giving all your money to the big corporate companies. The word is ancient Scottish for ‘mutual giving’, which sums up the ethos of the company. Being run by them, it also rewards members with money and instead of contracts, offers good-value plans, refurbished phones and a free SIM card (you can easily keep your existing number too).
- It runs on O2 network, voted best for coverage (works just as well in Europe).
- There are no call centres or high street shops, so cost savings are passed onto you.
- You can keep your number. Just Text PAC to a special number, and get a code in 60 seconds.
- The 3 SIM cards fit any phone between them, and can be delivered the next day.
- You don’t have to have a monthly plan if you don’t want. You can just pay-as-you-go.
- The monthly plan ‘goodybags’ include packs of data, and can be cancelled anytime. On your third goodybag, they boost your data by 1GB whenever you buy various goodybags. They even recommend plans to help you spend less, if you’re on a budget.
- You earn Payback points for bringing people over. You can use these for cash, credit or give to charity.
- They sell refurbished phones, and will also take your old phone off you, and give you cash.
- Members get to air their opinions on the forums. If you have a grumble, they don’t edit it out, they listen and make changes.
- They have staff to help 24/7, 7 days a week.
The best biodegradable phone cases are ones that are not made with virgin plastic. Instead, they are made from plastics that can biodegrade, or from other materials. Most people have a phone, and millions of people have iPhones or similar today. And to protect them, many people use a phone cover. But plastic (made from oil) takes 500 years to biodegrade. If you drop a plastic phone case in the ocean, it gradually will degrade into microplastics, which will be ingested by marine wildlife.
Uunique Biodegradable Phone Cases look like plastic, but are made from an innovative material made from plants. Sent in plastic-free packaging, this London company offers soft-to-touch biodegradable cases for iPhone 11, in pretty colours and patterns, inspired by nature. The case has a raised screen rim edge and drop-proof feature, to protect from drops and scratches, without adding extra bulk (and is wireless-charging compatible). This company also offers compostable and biodegradable AirPods cases, in 4 beautiful colours.
Wild Case makes phone cases from bamboo straw and PBAT bio-plastic which means unlike TPU cases, they can be composted. Sold in many colours. With over 1 billion phone cases sold each year, this eco-friendly iPhone 7 plus phone case, makes it easy to make the zero waste swap. It will protect your phone from bumps and scratches.
Some include wildflower seeds, but only use in pet-free gardens, as most wildflowers are toxic to pets
Biodegradable iPhone 12 Cases
bWaveCase Biodegradable iPHone 12 Cases are made from wheat straw and bamboo, the case has an ultra-thin design with precise hole position, to make a perfect fit for your phone. In 7 unique colours, they have a slightly matte texture, for excellent grip, to protect your device. Sent in plastic-free mailers, made from recycled cardboard.
The brand was started by three friends, who wanted to do something for the planet. Growing up in a small seaside town in northeast England, they saw first-hand the devastating effects of plastic pollution. So they created a range of stylish eco phone cases. Also as
Phone Cases Made from Fishing Waste
You can also buy phone cases made from fishing waste. These are great but don’t biodegrade if they fell off a boat or got lost at the beach, so keep them for home and office. Popsicase is one brand.