Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Fairfone – This will make you never look at your cell phone look the same way

Fairfone – This will make you never look at your cell phone look the same way 

Ralf on phone

(The photo depicts the most sustainable form of telephony, but is highly impractical)

Apple and Samsung dominate the mobile phone market. While we are totally enamored with technology and how to make these devices more powerful, “smarter”, faster, and smaller little is known what resources go into it and how they come out of the ground.

Mining cobalt ore for instance in the Democratic Republic of The Congo and Zambia is done under the most precarious of conditions. It will never look at your cell phone the same way.

Please do yourself the favor of watching the video clip from Fairfone, which is a Dutch entity creating a phone that attempts looking at creating a triple bottom line effect  (people – planet – profits) for the cell phone (click to watch the video here). Their phone may be a little bigger than the average high tech device, but the whole process of producing it is designed to provide a fair wage for everyone including the people who dig up the key resources.

Lesson to be learned here is that some of our daily comfort and techie items need resources that come from areas on our planet that do not consider long term sustainability – period. Neither the actual resource, nor impact of the human factor or the environment surrounding the mining and refining activities is considered by the ore merchants.

So what can you and I do? Well, one thing would be subscribing to getting a Fairfone. Not your cup of tea? Let’s settle for reducing and recycling. Do you really need a new device every time something newer and better comes along? Perhaps you can live with it for an extra year or two. Then there is the recycling of the old phones. Click on the Google link here and eat your heart out as to where and how you can make sure the effort of our African fellow ore miners will not go in vain.

Take a look at just about anything in our high tech world and there is a life’s journey and a story behind it that is worthwhile pondering. From a dirt pit in Africa to the cell phone you hold to your ear is a long and expensive road paved with a lot of unfair practices. Please help change this – every little step counts.


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