Make our Move

Want to do something good for the environment? Not sure where to start? Climate change is a huge issue, so it's easy to get overwhelmed, or confused about what we can actually do to help. 

You're not alone. In fact 2 in 3 of us are concerned with the impact of climate change, yet only 1 in 5 know what action we can take to reduce our impact. Over a third of us would like clearer guidance on what would make a difference and where to start. So we've done the hard work for you.

We’ve pulled together 12 clear actions you can take that'll have a positive impact. Luckily, decisions that are good for the environment are usually good for us too. They can save us money, keep us healthy, and be a great way to connect with others. Whether you just want to try some simple sustainable swaps, or are looking to extend your actions to your workplace and community, we've got ideas to help. 

Let's make our move, together. 

E-waste (or electronic waste) isn't talked about enough – did you know it's the fastest growing waste stream in the world (CarbonAction)? Have you ever thought about what the best thing is to do with your electrical items when they're broken, no longer needed or you've just got a shiny new upgrade? Most of us have a habit of hoarding, we get might need it one day!  

And keeping tech out of landfill is really valuable, for the materials it’s made from, the amount of resources it takes to produce and the value it could have to someone else. There are fuss-free ways to recycle your 10-year-old laptop, rehome your old smartphone and fix your broken kettle. Read on for some simple actions you can take to keep your electronics out of landfill.  

1) Rehoming old tech  

Did you know that for every smartphone in use in the UK, there are currently four lying unused? You may have one hiding in a drawer or box somewhere! And you can gift it to someone in need with our Community Calling campaign, that helps those in digital isolation such as people facing homelessness, refugees, families fleeing domestic violence, adults with learning disabilities and more.  

Each phone is provided with a years worth of data from O2 and digital skills training if needed. Find out how to gift your phone here, or check out our episode of the 'Down To Earth' podcast that shares real stories of how these old phones are transforming lives. 

For household tech, the British Heart Foundation accepts donations of working electronics with plugs.  

You might be able to sell working items to gadget shops for a bit of cash back, or give them away on local reuse networks like Freecycle, Freegle, Streetbank or Facebook Marketplace. Remember that for smart technology like phones, laptops and watches, it’s very important to clear your data off before passing it on. 

2) Repair and care  

Sometimes, there are simple fixes we can do ourselves, like repairing lost feet on laptops and fixing snapped headphones 

But for more complex issues we recommend taking your tech to an expert! Your local gadget shop or the provider of your tech may have a repair service. If you‘re ready to start learning about repair and want some know-how for repairing, here is a guide for beginners 

Check if you have a Repair Cafe or any Repair Parties near you.  

3) Recycle your tech  

If your old household tech is worse for wear, it might be best broken down for recycling to reclaim the materials. So what can be recycled? 

Save your household batteries, and find your nearest recycling point here. They can’t be collected in your kerbside recycling but contain heavy and valuable metals like lead and mercury which can be reused again and again. When batteries end up in landfill they go to waste, as well as leaking toxic chemicals that damage the environment.  

For sorting other electronics, RecycleNow says the item can be recycled if it:  

  • Has a plug  
  • Has batteries  
  • Needs charging  
  • Has a waste icon with a wheelie bin crossed out  
  • Don’t forget your wires and cables – these can contain copper, steel and aluminium.   

Most councils don’t accept small electrical items in kerbside recycling so the best option is a household recycling centre. Another reliable option is libraries and larger supermarkets which usually accept smaller electrical items. Currys/PC world also offers a free recycling service for smaller electronics whether you bought it in-store or not.   

Check if any small electricals are accepted by kerbside collection in your area by entering your postcode here.   

You might even be able to make some money from any older smartphones, even if they no longer work. See how much your phone could be worth here.

Make moves together  

Does your workplace have a scheme for their old company smartphones? If not, they could partner with Community Calling to make sure they are passed on sustainably. We also have other options for businesses to support the campaign as part of their sustainability initiatives and targets. You could speak to your workplace to see what opportunity there is. 

If they're not able to support in an official capacity, you could still spread the word amongst colleagues, family & friends about Community Calling, the power their tech has and how they can reduce e-waste too!


What happened when Hubbub tried it?  

Your old phone could have a much bigger impact than you ever imagined, in supporting your community and the environment. When the first lockdown struck we launched Community Calling with O2; a smartphone donation scheme to help reduce e-waste and digital isolation, and since then we’ve redistributed over 5,000 smartphones to people in need.  

We’ve heard heartwarming stories of how the phones have transformed peoples lives, of refugees able to speak to their families abroad, people facing homelessness that could apply to and secure jobs, and elderly people who could finally connect with others whilst shielding.  

And the environmental impact? Every smartphone donated saves 53.55 kg of CO2 emissions compared to buying a new one (calculated by our tech partner So far Community Calling has helped offset over 260 tonnes of CO2e and saved of 14 million gallons of water!