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The People, Planet, and Profit of Technology

The advancement of technology over the past two decades has been tremendous. Specifically, in the realm of mobile devices which includes smartphones, handheld gaming systems, laptop computers, tablets, eBook readers, and more. The capabilities of these devices are remarkable and what would have been considered science fiction less than a generation ago. The most important thing individuals can do to protect people, the planet, and their own personal budget is to ensure their devices remain functional for as long as possible. This can be done with iPhone 6 cases, tablet sleeves, laptop cases, briefcases, or backpacks designed to protect mobile devices.

People Helping People
Ensuring that your smartphone, laptop, tablet or other mobile device is kept in pristine condition isn’t just beneficial for you on a personal level. When you decide it is time to upgrade to a new device the old one can be repurposed to help other people. When a device has been protected, it is still a valuable communication and information asset for those in need.

Refugees are one group which is desperately in need of access to smartphones. Even older or less expensive models offer valuable tools for those who are escaping war torn countries. Mobile messaging apps make it possible for families to remain in contact with text messages, images, and video which allows for a feeling of connection and normalcy even under the harshest circumstances. GPS functionality can also make it easier for refugees to find their way in new locations even if they are unable to speak the language. Several nonprofit organizations have begun collecting these types of devices to distribute to refugees while others provide them for the homeless and victims of domestic abuse.

Protecting the Planet
Recycling is great for the planet. People know this and many consciously try to sort their paper and plastic goods to be recycled on a regular basis. They donate clothing to charitable organizations when it is outgrown or no longer part of their style but many people simply put the old model of their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other mobile device in a closet or drawer. While this isn’t immediately contributing to the amount of trash in a local landfill, it isn’t helping the planet either.

There are several ways to recycle a phone if it is past the point of being donated to a charity organization. Most cell phone providers and electronics stores have procedures in place to take used devices and recycle or repurpose them. Some companies are even able to take phones which appear to be nonfunctioning and refurbish them so they can be resold in secondary markets. Regardless of how the components are used, it is better for the planet if they are recycled than thrown into landfills or left in storage.

Profit Margins
The profit margins of the companies which produce technology items such as smartphones, computers, tablets, and gaming consoles require aggressive marketing designed to make consumers believe they need the latest version. This is a fantastic ploy for the manufacturer but it isn’t the best thing for the budgets of the individuals or businesses who use these items.

The consumer side of the equation needs to be aware that the motivations for pushing the latest devices is the manufacturer’s profit margin so they can thoughtfully compare that need with their own need to have a reduced or balanced budget. By taking care of one’s technology items it is possible to skip device upgrades from year to year with little experiential impact. That isn’t to say you should wait several years between upgrades. Technology does advance rapidly but it probably isn’t necessary to purchase each new iteration of a device if you have been maintaining your current one properly. The savings of moving from an upgrade each year to one every other year is substantial.







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