Smartphones have become a staple of modern life, despite being rare and inaccessible to the average Joe just 10 years ago. Your smartphone can do so much to make your life easier— it can even access applications that can help you save energy! But did you know that you can save a surprising amount of money by increasing the energy efficiency of your smartphone itself?
Why your smartphone?
Even though charging your phone doesn’t cost all that much in the grand scheme of things (odds are it costs you less than a dollar every year), where you can really save your money is by avoiding having to upgrade your physical phone every 6 months or year because it has broken or the battery has died.
Also, think of the big picture! If a large number of people save energy in this way, the entire energy grid will benefit. Consider this: The electricity used by all iPhone 5 users (170 million in 2012) during one year could power Cedar Rapids, Iowa (a town of 128,000) for an entire year. That little bit of energy adds up!
Of course, there is also the temptation to buy a new phone every couple of years. However, if you can abstain, you’ll save some serious money by holding onto a slightly older version and waiting for upgrade prices to drop. As long as you don’t care about being on the bleeding edge, you can save some serious cash!
How to make it a reality
As far as actually doing the legwork to make your smartphone more energy efficient, there are many options that you can try. Here are a few that we think are the best:
- If you reasonably can, straight up turn your smartphone off when you are not using it. If you don’t use it for an alarm, turning it off while you are sleeping is a great place to start!
- Turn down the base volume and screen brightness on your phone.
- Keep your screen timeout very short.
- Utilize low-energy or power-saving modes.
- When you are done with an application, be sure to close it so that it doesn’t run in the background.
- Purchase an external cell phone battery so that you can recharge your battery even while on the go.
- HARDCORE MODE: Only use your phone for calls and text messages.