This 1 Daily Activity Emits More Carbon Than You Can Imagine!

The Industrial Revolution was a phenomenon. But no one at the time could have predicted its dire consequences on the environment. We hail technological advancement in making manufacturing more efficient and economical. However, we often ignore the harmful effects of the machines on the environment. In particular, the carbon footprint of smartphones exceeds that of all other electronic devices.  


There are two stages in which carbon emitted by smartphones. Firstly, manufacturing the phone accounts for approximately 90% of its annual carbon footprint due to the energy-intensive machinery used for its production. Secondly, the usage of the phone itself also has a substantial amount of emissions. The average amount of carbon emissions during the entire lifecycle of an iPhone is over 75kg.

amount of carbon emissions during different activities

As illustrated in the graph above, the average phone generates 57 grams of CO2 per 1 minute of call (3.4 kg per hour). This means that by just talking for one hour in a day, we emit approximately 1250 kilograms of CO2 per year in the environment, which equivalent to flying from London to New York. As the number of smartphone users exceeds 2.5 billion, we can deduce that 1.25 million tonnes of CO2 emissions are generated cumulatively, just through phone calls, per year. In total, approximately 125 megatons of CO2 are emitted per year due to smartphones.

So what can you do?

Currently, used smartphones amount to only 8% of the total smartphone market. However, we believe that this number can be substantially increased if a safer and more transparent medium of exchange is introduced in the market. We at Ola Tech provide a comprehensive service of certified data removal and transparent chain-of-custody. We then refurbish and sell these devices, donating the majority of our proceedings to charities and investing the remaining in our business to advance our technology to encourage sustainable living to a wider audience.  

3 thoughts on “This 1 Daily Activity Emits More Carbon Than You Can Imagine!”

  1. I had no idea we emitted CO2 just by even taking a call! Very interesting, just another reason to reduce our time spent on devices

  2. Hi Sneha,
    Thank you for your very interesting, albeit disturbing, article. I have also noted the 57grams a minute statistic in an article in the guardian newspaper dated 2010, really indicates how far we have not come 🙁

    Are you able to direct me to other statistics/information on the carbon footprint of other smartphone activities ie scrolling through social media, playing games, using apps etc. Greatly appreciate it.
    Kind Regards
    Laura Delaney

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