Articles Posted in the Lifestyle category

Good music and cellphone recycling

October 6, 2010
Posted in Lifestyle

We’ve all got them: Old cellphones with dead batteries and archaic chargers piling up in bottom drawers and in cupboards. If you’re like us then you probably shudder at the thought of simply tossing them out with regular household waste. And so you should.

Cellphones are electronic waste and not only can many of the materials be recycled for future use but they also pose a potential chemical hazard when simply dumped into landfill sites.

So, if you’re in Joburg or Cape Town this weekend why not go along to the Rocking the Daisies (Cape Town) or Rocking the Gardens (JHB) concerts and drag all your old cellphones along? Nokia, a sponsor of the concerts, will have recycling bins available at the venues ready to receive all your old mobile phones.

They don’t have to be Nokia phones, any make of mobile phone will be accepted and Nokia has also committed to planting a tree for every 20 phones collected.

More on Nokia’s blog

Africa not so remote thanks to solar power

February 18, 2009
Posted in Renewable energy

An Ericsson solar base station in Morocco Ericsson and Orange Guinea Conakry are deploying more than 100 base stations fully powered by solar energy. This will allow remote parts of rural Africa without an established power grid to have access to mobile communications.

Alassane Diene, CEO of Orange Guinea Conakry, says: “We are reducing our energy bill. These base stations are also easier to install and require less maintenance than the traditional site. They also offer greater reliability and therefore considerably improved quality of service.”

Jan Embro, President of Ericsson for sub-Saharan Africa, says: “It is extremely exciting to be able to run sites on alternative energy sources. Limiting dependency on fossil fuels brings many advantages, but the greatest is the ability to offer sustainable connectivity to low-income users in remote areas across Africa.”

This rollout program supports the sustainability initiatives of both Ericsson and Orange, focusing on reducing the carbon footprint while making communication more affordable and accessible.

Orange Group says it intends to have more than 1,000 wholly solar-powered base stations in its African operations by the end of 2009.

Photograph: Ericsson

Sun, wind and cellphones in remote areas

October 22, 2008
Posted in Renewable energy

Ericsson has unveiled a new wind-powered radio base station concept that could support mobile communication in areas with no or limited access to the electricity grid, says the company. The wind-powered Tower Tube houses base station and antenna in a fully enclosed concrete tower. It has a smaller footprint and lower environmental impact than traditional steel towers, says Ericsson. Its power consumption is 40 percent lower than traditional bases station sites and this helps operators reduce their operating costs significantly, says the company.

The wind-powered Tower Tube has a four-blade turbine with five-meter blades vertically attached to the tower. Ericsson is working with Vertical Wind AB and Uppsala University in Sweden to develop the concept and trials will be conducted to determine if the wind-powered Tower Tube enables low-cost mobile communication, with reduced impacts on both the local and global environment, the company says in a press release.

Village Solar Chargers in Africa

Ericsson and Sony Ericsson have codeveloped a solar charger for mobile phones that has been shipped to 12 Millennium Village clusters in Africa, as part of a project with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the Millennium Villages project aiming to lift rural African communities out of extreme poverty.

Mobile phones are contributing to economic development in the developing world but the biggest problem in rural areas is charging the phone, says Mats Pellb├Ąck Scharp, Sony Ericsson’s director of environment and supplier quality assurance. “People often have a phone but need to walk for miles to get it charged.”

The Ericsson Village Solar Charger is built on standard components and can be used for all types of mobiles. It uses a 0.7 square metre solar panel connected to a rack where eight mobiles can be charged at the same time. A 12-volt lead-acid battery makes charging possible at night. The charger is capable of recharging at least 30 mobile phone batteries a day, all year round. It can also be used for other types of load, such as powering computers, lights or TV sets, says Ericsson.

Nokia offers SA’s first cellphone take-back service

October 13, 2008
Posted in Lifestyle

If each of the 3 billion people in the world who owns a cellphone recycled just one device, 240,000 tons of raw materials could be saved and greenhouse gases equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road could be saved, says Markus Terho, a director of environmental affairs at Nokia.

But at present only 3 percent of old cellphones are being recycled because people appear to be unaware that they can be.

Nokia has started taking back unwanted cellphones in South Africa with the aim of raising consumer awareness in this country of the fact that these devices can be recycled.

The company has already placed recycling boxes at 20 of its care points, but pretty soon all 34 Nokia care points countrywide should have them, the company says. Take-back collection points should display Nokia’s “We recycle” logo on a poster in the shop window.

You can drop off any make of mobile device including accessories and batteries, the company says.

At present the phones that are handed in are shipped overseas to an accredited recycler because there are no accredited partners in South Africa with the required certifications to do the recycling locally. But the company says it is working at sourcing recyclers within the local market that can be given the necessary accreditation to ensure the proper treatment of used devices.

Between 65 and 80 percent of any Nokia device is recyclable, says Terho. Precious materials can be reclaimed and reused in products such as kettles, park benches, dental fillings or even saxophones and other metal musical instruments. 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. In this way nothing has to go to landfill, says the company.

Thanks to its globally expanding cellphone take-back programme, Nokia has reclaimed the top spot in the latest Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics. The company says it’s working hard to make it easier for people to recycle, providing information and take-back programmes.

A survey conducted earlier this year found that globally people on average have each owned about five phones, but very few are thrown away or recycled. More than 40 pecent of people simply had them lying around unused in drawers. About 25 percent said they passed on their old phones to friends or family, and 16 percent sold their used devices in emerging markets.

To find your closest Nokia Care point visit the Nokia website or phone 086 11 NOKIA.