Crop faceless person browsing laptop and smartphone in light room

Smart Devices and the Environment: Tips for Saving Energy

According to Deloitte estimates based on industry data, a smartphone generates an average of 8 kilograms of emissions from usage during its working life. Also, ninety-five per cent of this comes from the manufacturing processes, including the extraction of raw materials and shipping.

As the world advances in adopting the internet of things ( smart devices), such as household appliances, electric cars, smartphones, tablets, and other devices, questions have emerged on their responsible use and sustainability amidst global concerns over climate change and global warming.

Discussions are ongoing about how to ensure smart devices have a longer lifespan, longer battery life and ways to ensure they are more energy-efficient.

Africa Environment Day is celebrated annually on March 3 in recognition of the work and life of the late Nobel Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai, who dedicated her life to promoting environmental conservation and sustainable development in Africa and was the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Today, as we mark Africa Environment Day, KICTANet expresses its commitment to encouraging environment-friendly and sustainable policies and approaches in the use of digital devices.

Our efforts complement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12, which aims to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” The goal encourages citizens to work together to improve resource efficiency, reduce waste and pollution, and shape a new circular economy.

As users of digital devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, we too can play a role in promoting the SDGs by adopting energy conservation measures in the use of our devices.

Below are some tips to make your devices more sustainable:

  • Use the built-in power-saving feature to conserve your device’s energy and stop the battery from draining out early.
  • Reduce the screen timeout period to conserve your device’s energy when not in use. Most devices have settings that allow you to shut down the screen after a period of inactivity.
  • Dim your screen to save energy on your device while at the same time protecting your eyes.
  • Adopt dark wallpapers or use dark mode as they use less energy. Why? The device does not have to illuminate as many coloured pixels on your screen, which saves power.
  • Extend your battery life and the life of your phone by closing inactive apps or when you’re not using them. Apps running in the background consume power and device memory.
  • Make your devices more energy efficient by minimising energy use associated with your devices by shutting them down and unplugging them from chargers once fully charged or when not in use.

Other valuable tips include: using a certified charger; turning off the GPS feature, Bluetooth, Mobile data and wifi when not in use; protecting your phone from excessive heat and cold; recycling your old devices; and checking the energy efficiency of a device before purchase.


David Indeje is KICTANet’s Communications Officer.


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