By TreeLiving These days the cell phone is more than just a basic phone. It’s a mini-computer, organizer and even a tiny games console. Making sure they are well looked after is the smart thing to do, not only because they’re quite pricey, but also because the longer they last, the less trash we’ll send to our land fields! You don’t need an eco tech qualification for maintaining your cell phone in good o rder. Some common sense strategies will do the job. Looking after the battery is a top priority. Don’t overcharge the battery. When it’s charged, unplug it – and the charger, which keeps using electricity even if the phone isn’t plugged in. It’s best to let your battery run down, rather than recharging it every time it drops down a bit. If you’re a heavy phone user with a spare battery in case of emergency, alternate them rather than leaving one lying around unused. It will deteriorate with under-use. Solar and wind-up chargers are eco tech alternatives to consider. If you don’t use your cell phone all that much, consider switching it off at night. You won’t miss anything, because any messages or notifications will pop up when you switch it on again in the morning. To save your battery and obviate recharging all the time, make sure your cell phone settings are tweaked for maximum efficiency. Turn off the wi-fi, as well as the GPS and Bluetooth functions when not needed. For smartphones you can download free apps that will monitor energy usage and efficiency and boost your phone’s energy usage and performance. Keep an eye on the display brightness setting. The lower you set it the less energy is used. A cell phone is more delicate than it may look. A cover or case and a screen protector will save it from scratches. A well-designed cover will also protect it against accidental exposure to moisture and insulate it from bumps and knocks. Remember, too, that cell phones are sensitive to temperature. If you live in a warm area, don’t leave your phone in the glove compartment of your car, or in direct sunlight anywhere. Even on a moderately warm day temperatures inside a car can rocket in a short time. On the other hand, they may be small, but cell phones use a lot of natural resources. Small amounts of gold and other valuable metals are non-renewable resources but can be reclaimed – hence the money you can get for sending your old phone for recycling. A lot of older phones are sent to developing countries where telecommunications are poor and cell phones can be lifelines. For this reason, making sure your phone lasts could help someone who really needs one. You may be able to trade in your old phone every couple of years, but that doesn’t mean you should treat it as a disposable gadget. With good care it will give you optimum service and serve someone else well when you’re finished with it.