Sustainability: it’s on everyone’s minds right now. We’re all trying to reduce our impact on the planet by consuming less and recycling more, but it can feel like an uphill struggle, and it’s often difficult to know where to start making a difference.
One way that people around the world are working to consume fewer resources and throw away less material is by upcycling their old belongings. Upcycling is where old things – furniture, bikes, even musical instruments – are transformed into new objects, rather than just recycled for their constituent parts. This process is especially important for electronic devices; according to the sustainability data collation website The World Counts, every year, around 50 million tons of e-waste – discarded technology – is produced every year.
To do its part to reduce the amount of e-waste in the world, Samsung has its very own upcycling programme. With this programme, as well as reducing waste Samsung aims to help solve social needs and to give a new lease of life to old technology. In 2019, Samsung upcycled used Galaxy phones to create portable eye exam devices for people in need at just 10% of the price of the commercial device. That year, a total of 90 of these devices were distributed in Vietnam, enabling pre-emptive eye check-ups for more than 14,000 people.
And now, Samsung is making it easier for even more people to upcycle their used devices by launching a new programme: Galaxy Upcycling at Home. As part of this programme, Samsung will be launching new software for Galaxy phones so that you can decide how to repurpose your used device.
One way that you can upcycle your Galaxy device is by using it as a childcare tool; sensors in the phone can monitor the sound around babies, sending an alert to another phone if it hears crying. Your used Galaxy device can also become a long distance remote! If there are pets at home alone, you can use your upcycled Galaxy to turn the lights, so they don’t have to wait in the dark. What’s more, because Galaxy devices have Samsung security features built in, you can create a digitally safe home from the very start.
But of course, it’s not just e-waste that is the problem: the packaging that comes with products is also an issue. This is why Samsung unveiled its Eco-Packaging last year. Thanks to this initiative, which won a CES 2020 Innovation award, TV boxes can be repurposed as small pieces of furniture. The great news is that in 2021, this Eco-Packaging will be used in all Samsung TV products. This means that when you buy a Samsung television, you’ll be able to build cat houses, magazine racks, and even shelves using the cardboard boxes!
Upcycling is one of the best ways of giving your used devices, and even the packaging from products, a new life. Have you ever upcycled a Galaxy device or the packaging from a new product? Let us know in the comments.