Help Poverty Stricken Women, Climate – Donate Cell Phones

Post a Comment » Written on January 7th, 2009     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (January 7, 2009) – Covenanters can help lift women out of poverty and fight climate change by recycling used cell phones as part of a new initiative administered by the Department of Women Ministries in partnership with the Good Deed Foundation.

About 60 percent of recycled cell phones are in good working order and can be refurbished and resold, according to the foundation, which supports nonprofit organizations addressing the twin issues of poverty and climate change. Cell phones capable of being refurbished generate the greatest amount of revenue.

A portion of the recycled phones are programmed to dial only 911 for use in emergencies and are donated to domestic violence survivors, older adults and low-income people at risk, notes Ruth Hill, executive minister of Women Ministries. The rest are recycled according to Environmental Protection Agency standards so that the materials can be reused.

According to the foundation, more than 130 million cell phones are retired every year in the United States. However, fewer than 26 million get recycled. It is estimated that each recycled cell phone helps prevent about 66 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. Recycling one million cell phones reduces greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 1,368 cars off the road for one year, according to foundation statistics.

The foundation makes it easy to recycle phones, Hill says. Good Deed will provide a free, postage-paid envelope or enable computer users to print a shipping label to recycle the cell phones.

Hill is encouraging churches to set up collection boxes in their buildings and around their neighborhoods. The free boxes, also available from the foundation, accommodate 25 to 30 phones. The boxes can be shipped free through FedEx.

Hill asks that churches and individuals make the requests through a special link on the Good Deed website so the foundation can monitor the number of phones recycled from Evangelical Covenant Church participants.

The number of used cell phones that Covenanters recycle will be announced during Triennial XIII, scheduled for July 22-25, 2010, in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the program, click here. A Good Deed widget is available for churches to add to their websites.

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