Few consumers realize how expensive their gadgets and gizmos really are. It’s easy to rationalize the number on a price tag. Can you put a price on the damage caused to the environment and undeveloped nations, just so you can have access to Facebook at all times?

There are several sufferers in the creation and destruction of Apple’s iPhone. The environment, the factory workers, and the citizens living in areas where the phones are created and destroyed all suffer. The infographic below outlines some of the real costs of the iPhone.

It’s hard to imagine a world without iPhones and Smartphones, but its obvious that awareness is the first step to a solution.

There are a few things you, as a consumer, can do to minimize the worldly costs of an iPhone. Skip a generation or two. The iPhone 4S isn’t that much different than the 4, and was released just 16 months later. The business practice forces users to renew their contract, by dangling the shiny new model, but the iPhone should last you at least 3 or 4 years, without being too far behind in software and technology. If you just can’t stand to be behind a model, reuse first, and then recycle. Sell your iPhone or give it to a friend instead of recycling it right away. Maximize its usage however possible.

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