Plant Trees by Mailing In Old Cell Phones

Plant My Phone is a new company designed to reduce the very large number of old cell phones that end up in landfills. The idea is both simple and potentially far-reaching. You send them your old, unwanted cell phone for free using their postage-paid self-mailer bags. The free postage-paid plastic bags are available in cities like Chicago, San Francisco, Medford, MA, Corvallis, and New Orleans. If you don’t live in these cities, you can print a free shipping label from their website, or request a free self-mailer bag to be sent to you. Then mail in your old phone.

Their site says mailing in an average two-year old phone will result in the planting of fifteen trees. A first generation Apple iPhone in good condition equates to the planting of 79 trees, and a Nokia80 equals about 30, (depending on the condition). You can look at the phone to trees conversion table to see if your phone is there.

The mailed phones are recycled, and their materials are sold to fund tree planting. They say focusing on cell phone recycling is important because, “…of the 140 Million old cellphones each year, only 10% get recycled.” Cell phones contain heavy metals which are toxic to the environment.

The types of trees planted are: Cocoa, Coffee, Banana, Orange, Cedar, Teak, Mahogany, Oak, Acacia, Eucalyptus, Laurel and Leucaena. Their trees are planted in twelve countries: Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Burundi, Senegal, Zambia, India, Philippines and Haiti.

PlantMyPhone has a goal of planting seven billion trees. They are an official partner of the United Nations Environment Programme’s: Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign.

Image Credit: D Sharon Pruitt

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130 comments

Tim Cheung
Tim C.4 years ago

thanks

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago

Great idea!

Bon L.
Bon L.4 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Joy Mcronald
Joy McRonald4 years ago

Now that's a great idea.. Thanks for sharing with all of us...

Laurina Bergqvist

This is great! Can't wait to donate!

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M.5 years ago

Thanks for this great post Jake. My family seems to go through quite a few phones...they can be recycled in the city...but I love this option ...what a great way to be able to plant more trees. I am saving this info so I can research it out to find if there is anything like this in Canada.

Chris Samaras
Chris Samaras5 years ago

Our company The BlueDot also specializes in recycling used cell phones. Our company will actually pay out money for a large number of used devices and plant a tree through the Nature Conservancy's Plant A Billion campaign for each phone we receive. If the phone does not have cash value we will still plant a tree and will recycle your phone for you. So far we have contributed a little over a hundred trees - http://www.thebluedot.net/promotions/buy-refurbished-plant-a-tree.html. To trade in your device just click on the Trade-In phones link at the top of the page for a price quote. Currently the process for a quote is manual and is in its beginning stages but we believe that our company can also make difference. We will either resell, recylce or refurbish your phone.

Mervi R.
Mervi R.5 years ago

Sounds like a great idea!

Chiara C.
Chiara C.5 years ago

Awesome!

Vinay Kumar
Vinay Kumar5 years ago

Great Idea at least by this we can preserve some natural wealth for our future generation