Only Second Hand From Now On

Well, it’s not because of the price exactly.

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We as a society are fortunately at the point now where the computing performance of the iPhone is so good that it can replace or forgo entire traditional computers for enough people. It’s plenty enough to drive all our applications and games. What are these modern incarnations of personal computing forgetting to do for us?

Last year In 2018 I bought an iPhone Xr, it came with the fastest processor Apple currently made for iOS and the Xr is equal to the much higher priced Xs Max in day to day use.

It is perfect for what I need it for, and even though it doesn’t come with a second camera lens, I still have my iPhone 7 plus which isn’t that different from the 8+ or the Xs series. The iPhone 7 Plus is also already three years old so the iPhone Xr can clearly last just as long (with battery replacements ;-)). And whatever I can buy second hand after the Xr is going to be an improvement by default of making technological progress.

There is already a huge grey market for Apple iPhones so my idea isn’t original, other people are buying second hand already. I could have bought the 8+ this year but didn’t because I wanted the larger screen. The Xr seemed to have enough advantages over both what it replaced (the 8+) and what was released with it (Xs and XS Max). The Xr purchase has now become my stake in the ground where I had always desired to have at least one new phone every other generation. Now there is no real need, me still using the iPhone 7+ is proof of this and it’s time to enjoy life in the grey market.

I’m not buying second hand to save money per se, I’m not buying second hand to protest against Apple’s prices either. I’m going second hand because as mentioned are good enough so why pay all them dollars anymore for brand new and why pay for the extras that come with the iPhone that are essentially creating more waste.

Waste? You mean the manuals and the power adapter?

Yes, I’m talking about the barebones crap that comes in the box, the same set of manuals that barely anyone reads, the stickers you have to justify sticking somewhere (I’ve ran out of ideas to place mine) and the power adapter stays in the box. I don’t need all that stuff anymore and Apple won’t just sell me an actual naked iPhone like the grey market will. It’s to overlook the packaging when you’re only buying one iPhone, but the scale at which Apple operate today shouldn’t be overlooked when the run off from the in the box accessories isn’t going to be fully utilised

Apple sold 200 million iPhones in 2018*. Did everybody read the manual again? Are you using the weak 5 watt adapter? I didn’t, I have multiple USB cables, external batteries, and USB ports on my computer and my power sockets. Everything other than the phone is surplus to requirement. I can’t be the only one?

Apple could address this problem if they wanted to.

  1. Don’t put the adapters in the box and lower the price enough to simply reflect there is less.

  2. Don’t put the adapters in the box but offer them for free in Apple Stores to anybody who purchases an iPhone if they ask for one.

  3. Remove them entirely and gouge customers further by offering for sale only the Qi charging solutions and power solutions that already exist in the accessories section.

  4. Leave it solely to the 3rd parties to cater to this problem.

Anker the third-party solution for charging iPhones either with external batteries or with specific wall warts is on the recordas saying they would like to build the power solutions for Apple so Apple can put less in the box.

And in the latest episode of the Talkshow, John Gruber and Joanna Stern they were discussing the ideas behind what will Apple do in the future with regards to putting adapters in the box.

Their conversation implied that Apple will continue shipping power adapters in the box regardless.

Now I’m not sure Apple would split up the contents of the iPhone box to another company or have such a basic power adapter as freebie or made into a must have accessory purchase. Then again, the MacBook Pro doesn’t come with the extra length cable either because Apple either wanted to nickel and dime you from what came in that particular box or they are actually being environmentally friendly. I’ll let you decide.

But both conclusions however could easily justify their behaviour towards reducing the waste that comes with selling millions of iPhones.

Putting all the manuals and power adapters in the box is wholly unnecessary now in my opinion, and it creates huge amounts of e-waste simply because of the scale which Apple operates at. Everybody basically has a multitude of means with which to charge their iphones.

And as I get more into zero waste, I’m thinking more and more about how to lessen my impact on this planet while at the same time not necessarily giving up the things that I need with which to operate on this planet. This post reflects one of those ideas. If enough people do the same, Apple might change their practices.

I thought I’d share this idea and I’m looking forward to what I’m going to buy at a cheaper price point that’s going to be better than my phone today while lowering my environmental impact.

*But the phone market shipped 1.5 billion chargers.




#NoinNovember Challenge Year One Recap.

Last year I was inspired by Joe Rogan’s #SoberinOctober challenge with his friends. I felt inspired to create my own for November, last year this was my first 30 day challenge to myself.

November is almost upon us again. I haven’t planned what I’m going to do yet, but I would like to review what changes, good habits and behaviours are still in affect from last year’s self imposed challenge. These 30 items, some were just a little bit of fun, some created limits and acts of mindfulness. Importantly, they were meant to remove distractions and allow me to focus on what was important to me. How did I score?

Last year’s November challenge list (shorted, but full list here - ):

No...

  • coffee - TODAY - Only 1-2 a month. WIN

  • to eating carbs - TODAY - I have cut down and I deliberately buy small ice-cream portions instead of convincing myself a larger tub at a better price is better ‘value’. What is the value really? WIN

  • to sleeping after 10pm - TODAY - I’m even aiming for 9:30 where work allows me. HALF

  • to eating sugar - TODAY - I barely eat even dark chocolate, i’ve switched to Cacao! WIN

  • to shaving - TODAY - I’ll do November again. WIN

  • to gaming unless on the MTR - TODAY - I have a kindle and actually read more than I did last year. I have discovered BOOM Beach though.

  • to missing the gym (12 sessions in the month) - I need to get my ass back in the gym. - TODAY - I actually quit the gym (due to expense, rather than laziness) and it’s even harder to be self motivated doing stuff at home. FAIL

  • to not creating a schedule - a proper schedule will allow me to fit my life changes in*. - TODAY - I never created a schedule that worked. FAIL

  • to spending any money unless it is transport or food related - TODAY - I’ve increased my saving by 100 US Dollars a month. Up to 900 now. I have wasted other money though. Saved $4000USD, a huge WIN.

  • to saving articles instead of reading them. - TODAY - I am saving less, but not saving enough. HALF

  • to porn - TODAY - Of course FAIL.

  • to masturbation, only sex - TODAY - Of course FAIL.

  • to saying no to things (especially to Rea) - TODAY - This double negative is hard to shake, but important I keep it for next year. I say no to Rea a lot, I'm making an attempt at making up for it. This one is for you again Rea x. FAIL

  • to Facebook for the whole month - TODAY - Bitch, I DELETED FACEBOOK! WIN

  • to Twitter for no longer than 30 minutes on desktop. - TODAY - Couldn’t delete the app because I needed the login details for another App (Periscope). HALF

  • to WhatsApp on my phone - TODAY - Deleted WhatsApp for personal use! WIN

  • to Reddit for no longer than 30 minutes on desktop - TODAY - I did delete the app, but then I brought it back and in the last month, I’m forever using it, but I did unsubscribe from half the reddit groups I was in. Let’s remember to be mindful again. HALF

  • to Facebook messenger - TODAY - Deleted! WIN

  • to Dating apps - TODAY - Deleted! WIN

  • to swearing - TODAY - I still swear. FAIL

  • to eating out unless Saturday (because of schedule) - TODAY - I have cut back a lot. HALF

  • to less than 4 swim sessions in the month - TODAY - FAIL

  • to using the phone when walking - TODAY - I barely do this anymore and get annoyed at others for doing it. WIN

  • to buying of plastic bottles - TODAY - I don’t buy plastic bottles. WIN

  • less than 5 mins of meditation for five mins a day - TODAY - FAIL

  • less than 5 mins of stretching every day - TODAY - FAIL

  • going without a day telling Rea I love her - TODAY - I do say it more often just on principle. WIN

  • less than 4 Mandarin classes in November - TODAY - I am learning Mandarin, it took me a while to get back on track however. HALF

  • effort spared in trying to write down my dreams - TODAY - I didn’t write down a single one. FAIL

  • electrical products after 9pm - TODAY - Life has a way of saying no and you keep checking things or watching one more video. FAIL.


WINS = 12 FAILS = 11 HALVES = 6

In this quick summary there were some big wins to be had, I removed a lot of time wasting distractions from my phone, and made huge savings when it came to holding on to my money for those rainy days. I definitely made plenty of refinements, not so much huge changes. I do feel my time wasn’t entirely co-ordinated as well as could be. Twelve ‘wins’ isn’t good, it’s a decent start. I think this time I should get 2/3rds of what I set myself as a ‘win’.

I didn’t ask anybody to join in with me last year, some viewers from Periscope were inspired and did set themselves little challenges, I hope to get more people to join in this year and will be telling viewers on Periscope.

I’ll be creating a new list for next month soon and posting it here.

How to Convey Your Allocated CO2 Budget with Casey Neistat’s Help?!

I came across a tweet back in January 2018, I almost ignored it, the bar graph (pictured below) at first seemed too dense for me to bother with, then I read the accompanying text because it mentioned a carbon budget on a per person basis.

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Link to actual tweet here. From @bsaxifrage on Twitter.

It’s a CO2 budget that has been allocated to each and everyone of us with the aim is to explain how damaging modern travel is and what steps we can take to minimize the damage by budgeting for it. All of us contributing, working within the means of the budget would be averting the 2 degree rise in temperature that is projected to happen.

I was fascinated with this suggestion of a budget, it’s easy to understand when I’m not tempted at the next tweet on my feed. Then I was dismayed for a few reasons because:

  • I didn’t know I had a budget nor any responsibility and I consider myself as someone informed on issues effecting the environment.
  • It’s one of those really informative tweets on Twitter that doesn’t get much traction.
  • How many people would immediately scoff at the idea of adhering to a budget that relates to jet travel, something we take it for granted?

How to Mainstream This?

Then one idea dawned on me; for this information to gain wider attention and possible acceptance, it would have to be on the mainstream news outlets and repeated like a PSA, (no chance of that happening) or this information needs someone in the mainstream to publically subscribe to this budget for everyone else to understand what it means in a real life situation with regular reminders (I already do, but who cares about me?).

You’d need someone bigger, someone significant, importantly someone collaborative and creative, and who wears their life onscreen warts and all so it’s genuine.

I thought of Casey Neistat, Casey has the large following, a very public life and he’s open to collaborations and actively seeks to shake things up from time to time in what he does. His new vblog series, ‘368' exemplifies this and he directly cites ‘Original: How Non-Conformists Change the World’. 1,2. Casey lends himself to being open minded. SIDE NOTE: The style in his new videos are wild!

Prior to the new 368 YouTube series, Casey has shown a willingness to help smaller individuals on the platform either through the ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ or promoting, raising awareness of the work of upcoming creators. Recently Casey made an episode with a blind YouTuber. Viewers got to relate to Molly, it was fun to watch Casey and Molly explain what could initially be a puzzlling contradiction for viewers. Importantly, audiences walk away knowing what is possible!

Casey is inspirational stuff. To be in his position and then actively have the time and energy to devote to making a positive difference to people’s lives beyond just being entertaining. Casey doesn’t have to do that.

Casey does though because he’s genuine, and passionate with his film making and with making human connections. It’s one of his themes. He travels the world with his passion on his heart and through his channel. Casey’s passion through no fault of his own has an environmental cost however, and it’s left out of the realities of his blog.

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Any fan of his would be drawn to his kind of lifestyle; the one that would enable any artist creative freedom, but what about the CO2 emissions that are also enabling it?

Casey is regularly taking flights, especially First Class as he’s famous for video blogging some of the newest first class cabins; travelling all over the world blowing way past the budget afforded to him. Reading the results in the bar graphs, fossil fuel jet travel is the least environmentally friendly form of transportation, and not all jet travel is equal. First class is vastly more damaging than economy class in terms of CO2 emissions. Take a look at the simplifed version of the CO2 budget below.

In short, one first class flight produces more carbon than all the carbon emitted by a single American across an entire year! I certainly didn’t realise how damaging flying was until now. Did you?

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Could Casey Explain the CO2 Budget to a Wider Audience by Simply Practising It?

So what if Casey took the CO2 budget into account and just stopped flying for a month or year on YouTube? Visualising such a change on his blog would generate more publicity and awareness over the reach of a single Twitter thread. 3.

You’re thinking that this would be a negative limitation for Casey? I don’t think so, Casey is always the creative. I imagine vastly more upsides than downsides. I also assume Casey would be creative inside his CO2 budget if he felt the need to leave New York on one of his excursions. 4.

Working With Limitations

There are plenty of creators out on the Internet working with tighter constraints on their time and money, making do with whatever they have, whether it’s making do with an old second hand video camera, a slow laptop or they are building a channel alongside a full-time job. We’re always being reminded (by Casey included in his more motivational moments) that our creative tools are only necessary to a point. The rest is up to us and our imagination and perseverance.

streetview.portraits on Instagram is an interesting example of someone working with serious limitations and still expressing herself creatively. Labelling herself as Agoraphobic Traveller, Jacqui Kenny travels the earth using only Google Street View. In the process she has created a way to make hundreds of images she would find near impossible to do because of her fear of going out into the world. Jacqui has sidestepped a non-negotiable limitation placed on her, and has still built a large following alongside selling her prints!

My Point Is.

What if the luxury of travel, just wasn’t an option for Casey temporarily, just as it isn’t at all for Jacqui.

In true creator style, Casey would conjure up alternative vlog content. Maybe somewhere down the line there is a ‘comprehensive’ review of an electric plane for Casey to review (he’d also be side stepping his limitation and mainstreaming the greener alternative for our benefit).

I’m not asking Casey to turn into an eco-friendly warrior, to advocate for veganism, lower taxes on avocados, and wear yoga pants instead of his new suit, to turn his channel upside down and kneecap his brand. I’m just talking about mainstreaming the consequences of jet travel with fossil fuels.

Jet travel IS harming the planet and our children’s futures at a scale we can’t immediately fathom and connect the dots towards. A CO2 budget is one part of an equation to help with understanding this issue, increasing our awareness is the second part, normalizing the idea and practicing it should be the final part, and it becomes as common knowledge as knowing to buy a reusable bottle over a plastic disposable one.

Any push into mainstream acceptance of reducing jet travel by fossil fuels has the chance to accelerate greener solutions like electric aircraft.

We as a species are already on a travelator that we can’t hit the ‘Stop’ button on, on our way to a destination resulting in our world warming in negative ways. However, I’ll do, and suggest anything to apply the brakes to help. Thanks for reading. Casey, I hope you read this too!

Notes.

  1. I actually had the idea of writing this article back in January before Casey even went on his break in order to set up the 368 series.
  2. I bought this book because Casey mentioned it in a recent episode. The book looks at the bottlenecks and social factors around implementing good ideas.
  3. It doesn’t have to be Casey, I’ve chosen to write about Casey because I can get behind him as a person and I watch him more than anyone else.
  4. Let’s remember, PieDiePie is YouTube’s largest creator by following and he mostly just stays in his basement making videos!
  5. Having said all that, Casey could just make regular donations to offset his flying by making donations to Atmos for green energy projectsif he already doesn’t. It wouldn’t have the same effect as its something being mentioned rather than experienced.