Ever wondered what you could do with that old smartphone you don’t use anymore? Well, thanks to Start-up Company Rainforest Connection your old mobile could be used to help fight illegal logging in some of the world’s largest rainforests.

Rainforests are one of the most fascinating habitats on the earth. It’s believed that they contain literally millions of species that have yet to be discovered. 1 out of 4 ingredients used in modern medicine is taken from rainforest plants. And 80% of the food we eat originally came from the rainforest.

Rainforests play a vital role in helping to keep the planet cool, absorbing a huge amount of heat from the sun. But we are destroying them at an alarming rate.

It’s estimated that up to 1.5 acres of rainforest is being destroyed – a second! Most of the time it’s for the lumber, but sometimes it’s to create arable land to graze animals on. The trouble is, the soil in the rainforest is actually not that fertile and any nutrients within it get used up extremely quickly, leaving just a barren patch of land.

For Rainforest Connection, enough was enough. They decided that they were going to do something about it. And that was where the idea came from to use smartphones.

Most of the world’s rainforests are being destroyed by illegal logging. The loggers get away with destroying huge chunks of rainforest because there’s nobody around to stop them. That’s where the smartphones come in!

Every smartphone that is donated is turned into a solar-powered listening device. The phones are secured to trees and left to monitor the sounds of the forest. When they pick up the sound of a chainsaw, they transmit this information via cloud API to a responsible agent on the ground only a few miles away. The agent can then respond to the news and arrive at the location to stop the logging before too much damage is done.

It’s estimated that over 100 million smartphones are thrown away, in the US alone. Imagine if we could take all those phones and turn them into something useful, instead of leaving them to rot on landfill sites were they can do no good to anyone.

At the moment the phones are located in the rainforests of Sumatra, but Rainforest Connection are desperate to begin projects in Indoneisa, the Amazon and Africa.

So how can you help? Well, you can sign up to learn more about the guys at Rainforest Connection by adding your email to their mailing list. You can help the company grow by providing a donation that will enable them to expand on the ground. Or you can help in the most crucial way possible by providing your old smartphone. Simply send the team your phone, they’ll then erase all the data from it, retrofit it and then install it to ensure that it becomes a guardian of the forest, instead of just languishing in a drawer somewhere.

To find out more about Rainforest Connection, you can visit their website here. And don’t forget if you have some larger e-waste, then Recycle Technology can provide a collection of your WEEE. Give us a call on 01928 242 223 and arrange a collection for free.