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Is Sprint really a green company?

Newsweek's annual Green Rankings came out last week.  Some of the companies that make the list are surprising.  Last year I was baffled that McDonald's made the list.  (McDonald's actually dropped over 50 spots in the list since last year's rankings!)   In another surprise, Whole Foods ranked lower than Wal-Mart.  One trend I noticed is that technology companies have many of the top spots.  

This year, Sprint clinched the sixth spot on the list, right behind Dell, HP, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, and Intel.   I've been a Sprint user for over 10 years, and recently when I was in my local Sprint store to get my Android fixed, I noticed some green phones as well as a link to the Sprint Green website.

They sell three green cell phones:  The LG Remarq, the Samsung Restore, and the Samsung Reclaim.  

The LG Remarq is made of 19 percent recycled plastic. Additionally, 87 percent of its parts are recyclable for whenever it's time to get a new phone.  Seems to be a decent phone, and CNET gives it 3.5 stars.  

The Samsung Reclaim is almost free of PVC and brominated flame retardant.  It's also made of 80 percent recyclable materials and 40 percent corn-based plastic cover.  

The Samsung Restore seems to be the greenest phone option.  It's made of 77% recycled materials, and the casing is made of 27% recycled plastic.   The charger is Energy Star certified.  

Their website sells a solar charger, an Energy Star certified car phone charger, and some eco-friendly cases.

Sprint also encourages customers to recycle their old phones and pay their bills online to save paper.  In their offices, they've also ditched Styrofoam cups, started lighting signs with solar panels, and replaced their lights with LEDs.  Lastly, they also contribute money to the Nature Conservancy.  

I'm pleasantly surprised by all of this.  Do many companies do this just to jump on the green bandwagon?  Sure.  But if they are truly helping to conserve energy and reduce waste, the overall outcome is good.  The recycling program is especially important to me.  Technology moves too fast and with people upgrading (or phones breaking...things just aren't made to last anymore!) so frequently, it adds up to a lot of waste.  (Alternatively, if your phone still works, you may donate old cell phones to Cell Phones for Soldiers or 911 Cell Phone Bank)

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