According to the Pew Research Center, as of January 2014, 90% of American adults have a cell phone. Of that 58% of American adults have a smartphone. Add in tablet ownership and we’ve got a lot of people using mobile devices in the US. And when it comes to the ways these devices can help us be better global stewards, it seems like the options are endless.
Just 5 years ago most of us were tossing yellow page books into the recycling bin without even bringing them in the house. Now, we don’t even get phone books because internet access is making them obsolete. With mobile devices, we can get that same information even if we’re not home. Think about all the trees saved with this change in how we access this information.
30 Ways Smartphones and Mobile Devices Have Changed the Way We Live
- Many of us no longer use paper for our lists because we’re using apps like Wunderlist or Evernote.
- We take fewer trips to the store because we can take a photo of what we need or want someone else to get.
- We photograph EVERYTHING yet rarely print anything.
- We (usually) don’t get lost when driving.
- Checking a map is less embarrassing than it used to be just a few years ago.
- There are apps to remind us to exercise. And drink water.
- Carpooling or car sharing is easier than ever with apps like CarpoolSchool, ZimRide, and KarPooler.
- We can downsize more easily by recycling or find new things by upcycling.
- Need help finding a recycling center for anything, there’s an app for that too. Actually, there are two great recycling apps.
- Our phones double as a flashlight, level, compass, and calculator.
- Music doesn’t need a separate device (sigh, Say Anything, sigh).
- Be prepared for medical emergencies with a First Aid app.
- Order food from virtually anywhere.
- Stay in constant contact with people even when you’re not with them.
- Share your travel photos with the world.
- We can read books, magazines, newspapers, journal articles, user manuals, and so much more without holding a piece of paper.
- Documenting history is no longer just for journalists.
- Kids can do homework or parents help kids with homework from anywhere.
- Asking questions of experts is a few taps away. And so is being an expert and answering a question someone else has.
- We watch TV differently than we did when we were growing up.
- And we document our lives in ways our parents never imagined.
- But it’s not all roses, because now we can’t just say “I wasn’t home”.
- Sometimes we’re more engaged with the conversation on our device than the one in front of us.
- We’re more likely document abuse and violence rather than just walk away not wanting to get involved.
- We shop differently, and those storied of “hanging out at the mall” no longer resonate with kids.
- Many of us don’t wear watches or own separate alarm clocks.
- Writing checks and mailing our bills is, for many, a thing of the past.
- We’re more informed consumers.
- We can wait less because of apps that help manage time at various events or attractions.
- Saving money has never been easier than with the plethora of apps and websites to help us.
I can go on to list more things, but these are a good start. We can do more with less and in many ways decrease our impact on the environment. Yes, these devices bring with them special considerations when they are discarded. But with all mobile carriers offering recycling programs it’s not difficult to dispose of them properly. And, I know there are drawback of having mobile devices connected to us 24/7. The point I’m trying to make is that mobile devices have changed the way we live and doing so in ways that can improve our lives, the lives of others, and the world.
How is your phone helping you reduce your carbon footprint?
Disclosure: I am a member of the Verizon Insider team. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.