055: Swishing and Other Green Ideas

As you may or may not know by now I’m part of the team trying to set up a Youth and Community Venue called The Fountain here in Bedford. Well Chris (my husband) did his bit and cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats (me and my Father in Law blogged our way round as Chris’s support team back in September – you can read our posts here). Our friend Jen W is running the Milton Keynes Marathon in April (she had entered the London Marathon but she didn’t get picked in the ballot).

So I started thinking about what I could do. Well I am hosting/setting up a Swishing Party and Cake sale in March at Russell Park Baptist Church.

Then I got thinking – what if you don’t live in Bedford or do but can’t get to the Swishing Party – what other green things can you do or that you can do to help out other people.

There’s all the usual bits like recycling food cans and paper through the local council services or taking the glass to the glass bank (recycling places around town), or taking your clothes to a swishing party or charity shop but what about going further – you can take electrical items to the tidy tip (that’s what it’s called here in Bedford anyway) and they will deal with them from there or some you can sell on second hand like eBay or CEX but what about recycling.

When I upgraded my phone a while back I was told about a recycling scheme that the particular mobile phone store did, at the time I was holding onto my handset as a second handset but I’ve heard recently that O2 have their own scheme too. It turns out, all sorts of bits from your phone can be resused either as a whole phone or broken down into its components and used for other things.

  • People in 3rd world countries often receive donated phones. This means you can not only provide someone else with a phone, but reduce the need for further mobile production. Any time manufacturing is cut down, carbon emissions are cut down a bit also.
  • Apparently, mobile phones contain various valuable plastics, as well as metals like copper and even gold and palladium. Recycling conserves these materials.
  • Also, your old mobile contains harmful substances like mercury and arsenic in its battery, and if you throw it away instead of recycling it, these materials can harm the environment.

I think I knew about all the bits that go into a mobile phone to make it into a phone but I hadn’t realised that all the bits could be taken out of the handset again and put to good use. I also didn’t know about there being mercury and arsenic in the phone battery (although I did know a lot of mobile phones have Lithium in them – which already makes me want to sing this song by Nirvana).

So what about giving it a try – as the saying goes one man’s junk is another’s treasure. Start with one thing and go for it. See what happens.

If you want to come to the Swishing party you can find more information here or here.

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