Smartphones are owned by one in five people. But their production carries a cost; using more than 40 elements that are mined with untold environmental and social effects on every inhabited continent on earth. With this interactive by The Guardian and Friends of the Earth, you can take a detailed look at positive and negative impacts your smartphone has made on people and planet.
By selecting a component (e.g., battery, display, logic board) you can find out more about where and how the resources are mined. For example, cobalt is used in rechargeable batteries. The Democratic Republic of Congo produces most of the world’s cobalt. Artisanal cobalt miners are exposed to heavy metals through dust inhalation, food and water contamination. The Democratic Republic of Congo produces most of the world’s cobalt
On the positive side, smartphones come in great with natural disasters. Over 450,000 smartphone users downloaded apps designed to track Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.
Check out the tool here.