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My phone contract is due for renewal – What do I do?

March 3, 2015

fairphone-1

When I needed a new phone at the start of the year I was torn between going with my old provider and plunging into the dark with a Fairphone. This post first appeared on Tearfund Rhythms

As the new year began I was pondering a bunch of questions. I had choices to make. Do I start my long overdue diet plan? How can I get more exercise and get fit in 2015? How can I better balance my work, family and community life? Can I try and get to more gigs to see the musicians I love?

These are all good questions; ones that I would like to spend more time working out and putting into action this year. While these questions were on my mind, it was actually this one that I was able to act on first. My phone contract is due for renewal – What do I do? Do I play it safe and go back to my usual provider? Do I look for the best deal? Or, is this for me a question of how I might be able to explore how I can live my values through the phone I purchase and use?

It got me looking at the Fairphone (something that I had been aware of for months and admired but in all honesty I had chosen to ignore) and its potential to take a small but significant step in re-imagining how products are made in ways that are ethical and sustainable for both people and the planet. This emerging idea is called Circular Economy and Fairphone are working on this themselves.

If I am honest, when I first looked at it, I wondered if the phone might be a bit clunky and chunky, and just not as appealing at a new iphone or top of the range android. But I kept exploring and came to the conclusion that it looked like a great purchase in terms of usage as well as ethics. So I went for it. I’ve had my phone a month now and I am loving it. It’s great to use and they have made a really great product.

Just over 20 years ago the  Fairtrade movement took a big step forward with the launch of the Fairtrade mark and the Fairtrade Foundation. The movement has grown so significantly that we now take for granted that we can buy quality Fairtrade produce in a wide range of retail outlets. I wonder if the technology we use and consume will also embrace that revolution? Could the Fairphone be one of the pioneers that sees a movement in how we make and consume products?

It may not be your phone that has got you thinking, but are there other things you could do to explore ways to live out the values that you hold? What could you do? We may think that we don’t have much in terms of wealth or power, but as consumers we do have the power to make decisions that have a direct impact on our global neighbours. How we consume matters and is a part of our expression of our worship to the God we love. We need to embrace the gift of grace but we also need to embrace the power that has been given to us to make consumption decisions that are good for God’s planet and his creation.

The food that we eat, The clothes that we wear and the electronic products that we use each day are all examples of ways in which we can consume well. These are things that we should be liberated to enjoy and cherish, perhaps all the more so if we know they have been good purchases.

I do intend to address some of those other questions that I started with. I’m going to start by getting back into cycling to work in the spring and I am also going to see Ben Howard live, both of which will be life giving and good for my soul, and the first is also much better for the planet.

We have the power to make good choices. It is our collective actions that can bring about the change that we want to see. Let do it!

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 12, 2015 12:03 pm

    Reblogged this on matt's musings .

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