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Earth Day: Is The Apple iPhone Green?

We already know that Steve Jobs and the rest of the team at Apple have no problem generating that other kind of green, but how are they faring when it comes to taking better care of our planet? Earth Day is tomorrow, so it’s oddly appropriate to take a look at how green the iPhone is.

The infographic embedded here comes by way of Geekaphone and it outlines some enviro-minded factoids on the iPhone for you to consider. For example, of the 45kg of CO2 pumped out as a result of the iPhone 4, 57% comes from production and 35% comes from consumer use. The sad thing is that consumers aren’t really doing their part with less than 10% of phones being recycled.

There are over two million cell phones entering landfills each week, since the average life span of a phone is less than 18 months. This results in 65,000 tons of toxic waste (equivalent to three small oil tankers) being dumped at the dump each year.

What about Apple? While the reduced packaging has done some good (14% fuel savings), it’s still scary to think that 30 companies on 3 continents are responsible for the iPhone, including 300,000 workers in China earning less than $10 a day. That opens another can of worms altogether, but it’s still worth knowing as you download another fart app and stream another video on Crackle.


About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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  • Vojt Barys

    Interesting read with great statistics. I wonder how the 5th generation iPhone will compare. It will probably be more “green” than the 4th generation iPhone.

  • Kamik69

    What is the meaning of all that bunch of numbers?

    – You are mixing up statistics of the iPhone in particular with all the cell phones.
    – You include the country of origins of different components but do not tell what’s the equivalent C02 for shipping them in China for assembly…
    – You say that less than 10% of iPhone are recycled and add that Apple offers free recycling…..

    Don’t just display numbers, relate them to each other…

    You spent too much time making nice graphics but without any story to tell….