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Smartphones make it easier to go green

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Looking for some fresh ideas to help make a difference on Earth Day this year? Look no further than your cell phone. According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it's estimated that more than 135 million cell phones about four per second - will end up in landfills each year, and only about 10 percent of cell phones are recycled. Making the choice to recycle a used device represents a tremendous opportunity to reduce waste in the environment.

The following suggestions from U.S. Cellular show how simple it can be to find nearby recycling areas via your cell phone and highlight other easy ways to be more sustainable when using your device. All recommended apps are available on Google Play, and the tips work across a range of devices including the 4G LTE Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II.

1800Recycling App Find recycling points near you with the touch of a button. This app gives you addresses of recycling locations along with GPS-guided directions. It also allows you to find a specific recycling center based on the materials you are looking to recycle, making recycling simpler and easier. 

GoodGuideApp This app helps you determine whether a product you want to purchase is safe, healthy and green. It uses a barcode scanner to let you get quick access to environment and social ratings for more than 170,000 products in the U.S.

Fuelio App You can track your fuel consumption, mileage and costs, even on multiple vehicles. Get useful statistics more quickly with 4G LTE speeds that are up to 10 times faster than 3G and similar to a cable Internet connection.

Eco Change App This app can easily reduce battery consumption on your mobile device. When the battery is low, simply touch the icon to switch to eco mode, which turns off certain features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, backlight, sound mode, vibration mode and synchronization. You can even customize your own 'Off' menu.

Unplug your charger when not in use Many people don't realize that chargers still draw energy even when they aren't plugged into a device.

If you have any questions about downloading or using apps, stop by U.S. Cellular's next Device Workshop in Bangor on Saturday, April 27 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at 33 Mid Mall Boulevard.

Bangor residents can drop off any used phones at the local U.S. Cellular store and the company will recycle the devices.  U.S. Cellular also offers a Trade-In Program that gives anyone who comes into a store or visits the company website the opportunity to get up to $250 for each used device. 

4G LTE service provided through King Street Wireless, a partner of U.S. Cellular. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

Matt Kasper is the Director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England

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