The Guiding Question
When I started on my sustainable journey, I found myself coming back to one question almost all the time: "Do I really need it?"
"Do I really need it?"
Do I really need that many pairs of shoes? Do I really need that full-leather handbag? What about that cup of bubble tea? Would I starve to death if I didn't buy that individually-wrapped banana?
While these were important, they were decisions I had to make once-in-a-while. What about in daily life?
I began to look my habits, and one stared at me very brightly -- my phone screen.
Did my phone screen need to be that bright? No, it almost hurts, actually. Do my apps need to be updated all the time? No. Do I respond to my emails immediately when I get the inbox notifications? Not unless I've promised someone I'd get back to them ASAP.
So how can I conserve more energy in my phone, a device I look at almost every waking hour?
Tip no. 1
DIM YOUR SCREENS
While still on your lock screen, swipe up from the bottom. You'll see a sun icon -- tap on it and hold down with a bit of pressure. It'll pop up for you to adjust the brightness of the screen. I would usually adjust it to the point that I'm not squinting at the screen.
Tip no. 2
LOW POWER IS GOOD POWER
There is nothing wrong with low power mode (Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode). The main difference between low and normal power mode is that some of your functions -- which you probably hardly use anyway, like automatic downloads -- will be put on hold.
Tip no. 3
APT APPS ONLY
The last time (which also happened to be the first time) I counted my apps, I had over — shock — 120 in my phone. I don't use all of them on a regular basis, of course -- most of them are on a good-to-have-in-case-I-need-it basis. So did I really need to have them be updated all the time? Absolutely not. Turn off background app refresh by going to Settings > General > Background App refresh. Don’t worry, they’ll still refresh when you need to use them.
Tip no. 4
COMPILE YOUR MAIL
So what if you get a notification that a fresh piece of email has come in? Do you respond immediately? I used to, but -- just like old-fashioned snail mail -- I now set aside time to respond to mails in a few sittings. On the iPhone, you can set your Mail app to fetch mail manually or in intervals of 15 minutes and more by going to Settings > Accounts & Passwords > Fetch New Data.
These, coincidentally, are the tips the Apple Store Creatives will share with you if you want to conserve your battery life for a better and longer iPhone experience (I would know, I got it from them). Longer battery life means you won't be switching out a good, functioning phone unnecessarily, hence creating less e-waste. It’s a win-win-win situation.