Opt out of the yearly upgrade cycle
New smartphones are released about every five minutes -- or so it seems. Near-constant upgrades may be great for companies and the economy -- not to mention the 401(k) plans of millions of people who benefit from the relentless growth of technology juggernaut Apple -- but it's plainly not great for the planet.
"The average life of a phone is something like 18 months -- and that is an older statistic, so it is probably even less," says Brenden Sherratt, social media and marketing expert at Sortable.com, a website dedicated to helping consumers make electronics decisions.
One point in favor of smartphones is that many do have resale value. Phones can be sold to other individuals, or some companies will buy back newer phones. Major companies and carriers -- Apple, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile -- all offer to take your old phone off your hands, and they may even give you money or a trade-in value for it, depending on the condition.
At the very least, they'll recycle your old phone for free, which may assuage some of the buyer's remorse you'll feel when the next new phone comes out in four minutes.