Conservation Minnesota

Cell Phone Chargers & Ipod Docks

We are in the process of transferring our cell phone coverage from one company to another. This change isn’t one of choice but due instead to the merger of two companies. Along with the change in service comes a change in phones. Our new phones arrived in the mail recently and we realized that not only will our phones change but the chargers will too. What this means is that our current chargers (all 5+ of them) will be relegated to the junk pile.

Maybe I’m missing something but the cell phone manufacturers don’t seem to be too green. Why can’t there be a universal cell phone charger that works with all phones? We have not been ones to jump around and switch our cell phones often, but through the years we’ve had our share of phones. We donate the phones to be used again and we can donate the chargers, but this is getting ridiculous. We both need at least 2 chargers for work, home, travel, etc. Not only does it get expensive to replenish our chargers it is just downright wasteful.

We’ve experienced something similar with our ipods. Most members of our family upgrade our ipods from time to time — more space, bigger and better features. What no one told us and we realized afterwards was that our docking stations don’t provide enough power to charge the device any longer. They work as speakers to play the music but nothing more. Again, docking stations aren’t cheap, but the bigger issue is the waste. I realize that the newer ipods need more power, but there must be a way to build these accessories so they last longer than one generation of the device. We all know that the internal space/memory of ipods and other mp3 players will continue to grow. Couldn’t the manufacturers look a little further into the future and build accessories with a greater capacity than is currently needed? I shudder to think of all the toxic metals contained in these devices that will end up in our waste stream.

I am not a tech person. I don’t claim to have great knowledge of electronics. There are most likely issues that I don’t understand. I realize that. But there must be a better way.

Kristin Eggerling is a board member for Conservation Minnesota Voter Center, the mother of two, and a freelance writer in northwestern Minnesota. 

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