Old Cell Phones Mean New Trees with Telenor


Photo via alexindigo via Flickr CC

Nordic cell provider Telenor is reconciling some disappointing statistics about unused cell phones by starting up a cool trade-in deal that promotes reforestation in Asia.

According to Telenor's calculations at least four million used mobile phones are lying around collecting dust in Norwegian homes. Presently 82 per cent of Norwegian households have at least one mobile phone extra that they are not using. It is only a dismal 12 per cent of consumers that recycle mobile phones.

To get those cell phones turned in so they can be recycled and reused (and to get some green publicity), Telenor is offering 50 free SMSes and funds the planting of 25 trees in Asia by the Red Cross for each used cell phone submitted. The company has a goal of collecting 70,000 mobile phones, which would result in the planting of 1.75 million trees in 2009.

As always, we'd have to keep a close eye on Telenor and the Red Cross' planting efforts to make sure that a) the trees are actually planted and b) they're taken care of so that they actually grow into mature trees and accomplish the intended goal of reforestation. Still, 25 trees is a pretty good trade-in for a device that would either continue to lay around, or be donated elsewhere anyway.

And we do have to say that even if it is a bit of a publicity stunt, getting unused electronics turned in for recycling is more important than ever, considering the increasing scarcity of resources used to make the devices.

The cell phones collected will be either refurbished for sale in Asia, or recycled. And for those concerned with security risks, the SIM cards are destroyed.

Via Telenor
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Tags: Cell Phones | Conservation | Forestry | Recycling