Dude, where’s my phone charger?

by Melissa Lockwood, Marine Biology with Sustainability minor ’12

We’ve all done it.  You pack up for vacation and have everything you’ll need–sunscreen, extra socks, rain jacket, somebody to watch the dog. You’ve thought of everything.  Several hours later on the road you realize you forgot one thing, the phone charger. You know your phone is going to die before you return home so what do you do?  Turn it off ? After all you are on vacation, why do you need to be connected to the outside world?

Most of us wouldn’t dream of that, so instead you turn to the rest of your vacation party and start searching through their charge cords to see if any of them are compatible with your phone.  Sometimes you’ll get lucky, but if you’re like me, you have the one phone that doesn’t want to share anything with anybody, including it’s charger.  So now you are left to deal with being phoneless, get creative, or go buy a new charger.  Until now.

With how connected we are, this is the reality of our lives. The universal phone charger strives to reduce the mess.

Seventeen major mobile companies, including Nokia and T-mobile, are joining together to create a universal micro-USB charge cord based off O2’s current universal charger projected for release in 2012. If left plugged in after the phone is charged, this charger will consume three times less energy than a standard charger.   Once all 17 companies are functioning with the new charger, and estimated 56217.87 tons of chargers and related products will be kept out of landfills each year.

Unfortunately, not everybody is on board with the idea.  A universal charger would mean an estimated 50% reduction in the manufacturing of other chargers, leaving other manufacture companies high and dry.  Because of this, big companies like Apple are hesitant to jump on the bandwagon.  So again comes the ever present question,  “Is going green worth the risk? (Comment and let me know what your opinion is from both sides)


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