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How to use your mobile for good

On average, gazing into our pocket-sized super-screens. That’s around 21 hours a week, which equates to a part-time job. Congrats, you’ve just been hired.

Here are a few ways you can make the most of those hours and make your mobile a force for good!

Track (and help reduce) your environmental impact

You might not realise it, but mobile data usage has quite the impact on the earth.

Mobiles do help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions by facilitating connections over long distances, and removing the need for a lot of travel. However, it still takes a lot of power to surf the web and send a text. In fact, mobile data networks in Australia are estimated to create more than half a million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

There’s a simple first step in helping reduce your emissions in this space: choose a carbon neutral telco.

We think that we have a responsibility to clean up after ourselves, which is why Belong became the in Australia to go in December 2019. In 2020, Belong released the ‘’ app, which lets users estimate how much carbon their mobile data usage creates. The app’s augmented reality then allows you to visualise your estimated carbon emitted in the space around you.

Our Carbon Thumbprint app helps you visualise your estimated carbon emissions

Recycle or donate it when you get a new one

One of the most powerful ways you can use your mobile for good is to make sure it doesn’t end up in landfill when you’re done with it.

Australians produce around each year. When not discarded properly, e-waste is responsible for releasing a heap of nasty chemicals. Do your bit for Mother Nature, and keep your phone out of the bin. will recycle all makes and models of mobiles. You can also donate your old device to charity, or give it new life by gifting it to a friend or family member (just make sure to wipe the memory first).

Give back

Technology, especially mobile phones, provide us with a great chance to connect with, and give back to, others who might need a helping hand.

is an app that connects blind and low vision people with sighted volunteers.

When you sign up as a volunteer, you get a video call anytime a blind or low vision user needs a pair of eyes to help out, perhaps to read the small font on a can or check the expiry date on some milk.

helps to eliminate food waste by facilitating ‘food sharing’ with those around you. Many round-up apps also offer the feature to donate that spare change to a chosen charity. The allows your mobile to do good even while you sleep, using its computing power to help further medical research. There are even apps that help you raise money for charity each time you go for a walk or jog, like .

Connect blind & low vision people with sighted volunteers on the Be My Eyes app.

Connect with loved ones

It’s safe to say that is feeling more important than ever. With travel a little more limited these days, our mobiles can play a powerful role in bridging the physical gap between loved ones.

Send a friend or family member a cute GIF, order them a bouquet of flowers online to be delivered, or give them a video call. Skype, Messenger and FaceTime are all apps that allow you to video call with ease. If you prefer to connect on a more intellectual level, games like Words with Friends or Wordfeud can get all your brain juices flowing together.

Nurturing your health and well-being

To do good, we have to feel good. Cue Olivia Newton-John, cause we’re about to get physical.

Most smartphones have built-in health trackers that can help you get a better picture of various elements of your health, including your fitness, nutrition, sleep and .

iPhones have the built-in , which tracks how many steps you’ve taken each day, can help you plan a sleep schedule, can help track your nutrition and more. It can sync up with other apps and even your iWatch for more precise data. If you’re an Android user, you can access , which helps you track your heart health, set goals, and work out smartly.

We’ve taken a deeper dive on the blog into apps to , as well as some to get you closer to .

Grow your brain

Encyclopedia Mobilia. Get it?! But seriously, encyclopedia jokes aside, our phones are a treasure-trove of new information at our fingertips. Because after all, the more we know, the better we can be.

Podcasts single-handedly got me through the past year. You name a topic, and there’s bound to be a podcast ready to school you on the subject.

Apps like can help you learn a new language, Lumosity can help keep your brain agile, and the app’s content will inspire you.

TED Talks are full of inspiring content

Conclusion

Feeling inspired to use those 21 hours a week on your phone with a little more purpose? Us too. Belong is Australia’s first carbon neutral mobile and internet provider. Explore our brand new range of .