‘You know that old mobile we have, the one can now only receive calls?’ I nodded my head absent-mindedly from the passenger seat. I knew it well. The cell phone in question was from 10 years ago, it had been bedazzled and was now clinging to a few of the forlorn original sparkles. It had a couple keys missing and the ‘abc’ key had gone on strike 2 years ago making every text an exercise with a thesaurus. It was my mum’s old cell phone that she often ‘kindly’ lent me when I stayed in England. ‘I think it’s time to chuck it in the bin’.
I turned to look at her, my mouth slightly ajar. Then, realizing what she had said, she laughed at her slip of the tongue. Oh the old days. The days when we didn’t recycle anything. When we threw our useless electronics in the rubbish with no thought of landfills or toxic metals or any of that other boring stuff.
But the old days were not so old and the reason that she caught herself so quickly was that she knew all about the dangers of cell phone waste. She knew more than most people. She had heard all about it for over a year.
From Chicago to New York, Jeremy and I had been working on creating a phone recycling startup. Somewhere that people could get paid for recycling their old, broken and generally useless phones.
And finally, after a lot of hair pulling and all-nighters, we have launched the site and www.ExchangeMyPhone.com is now a living breathing business. Jeremy is the founder, the mastermind, and I’m the Creative Director. Basically I do the fun writing stuff and Jeremy does the hard work.
Now all mum has to do is go to the website and we’ll pay for her to ship her old brick to us so we can safely recycle it. Or she could just had it to me…but I do like getting post. If she ever wants to get rid of her fancy blackberry we could even pay her for it.
Every part of the website has been thought over, and it is not perfect but we are ready to start telling people about it. So emails are being sent out and two people who stutter are picking up the phone every day. Business cards are arriving in the post and our office is getting more crowded by the minute. It is all very exciting and somewhat petrifying.
Now we just have to let people know about it. Mum’s comment is by no means unusual. Millions and millions of phones are thrown in the rubbish bin every year. So we are trying to let people know that they have a different option. They can easily recycle their phones and get paid for doing good.
If you have any brilliantly creative ideas for getting the word out send them my way. The crazier the better!