I love my smartphone, and sometimes I feel like I couldn’t live without it.  From looking up maps when I’m a bit lost, to blogging, tweeting, and accessing Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram on the go, I’m pretty much an addict.

My smartphone isn’t particularly environmentally friendly – it’s less than two years old and already has severe battery life problems.  My other half and I were recently discussing planned obsolence, particularly with regards to smartphones.  We felt that the manufacturers wanted us to buy a new phone at least every two years, and so were designing them to slowly break close to the two year point.  Then I found this Huffington Post article which really hit the nail on the head.

I didn’t think there was, or would ever be, such a thing as a sustainable smartphone, but in the last couple of weeks I came across the idea of Phonebloks.  Phonebloks is a phone that doesn’t require complete replacement if one element of your phone stops working or wears out.  Instead you replace a block that houses the particular component that’s worn out, much like Lego I guess:

phonebloks sustainable smartphone

As the phone’s individual functions seem to work more like customisable apps you can even customise your phone.  You could, for example, remove some of the storage to make room for a bigger battery, or remove some functions you don’t need for bigger speakers, depending on how you use your phone.

phoneblok smartphone

There’s a video on YouTube which explains more about it here.

I got quite excited by the idea.  Of course Phonebloks will still create waste, but should in theory generate lesser volumes of waste over a longer period of time.  And it would hopefully be more sustainable than disposing of a whole phone every time one aspect of your phone gives up, like your battery.

At the moment Phonebloks is just a concept.  If you like the idea you can support the idea on Thunderclap, and support Dave Hakkens, the developer, on Twitter and Facebook.

What do you think?  Woud you use Phonebloks?  There are lots of posts on the internet about why people don’t think Phoneblok will work.  Personally I think anything which challenges the idea that people should have to upgrade their phone every two years should be welcomed, but I’d love to hear your thoughts too.


Main image from here, all other courtesy of Phonebloks.