I’m in the market for a new mobile phone. My current one has taken on some charming qualities of late such as refusing to turn on when off, refusing to turn off when on, freezing its keypad, neglecting to send or receive texts and generally proving itself to be about as useful as a chocolate crack pipe. I feel fully justified in seeking a replacement.

Pre-Zero epiphany I’d have nipped out to the shops to buy a new phone. It’d be a bottom of the range brick because I’ve never cared about having anything shiny or state of the art but it would have been new. Nipping out would have been easy, convenient, uncomplicated. That’s just not the Zero way.

Instead I’ve gone for a second hand reconditioned phone from 2ndhandmobilephones.co.uk, although there are tons of other suppliers out there. There are millions of these things knocking about so it seems wasteful to buy a new one, demanding new metal and plastic be produced and energy wasted in its production. The International Telecommunication Union reckons we passed our four billionth mobile phone subscription in 2008. According to an industry report quoted in the press, 2007 saw more than one billion new handsets sold.  Safe bet these were not all first time purchases but included replacements for perfectly functioning but less down-with-the-kids phones.

And my old phone’s not about to sit idly in a landfill. Instead it’ll be bunged in an envelope and sent to a charity that sells them in bulk to recyclers. Recycling Appeal says it’s made £3.2 million for its partner charities since 1999.  So good’s done all round.

That’s The Zero way, netshelled. Taking an every day thing, thinking how it impacts on the world and figuring how to do it a better way. About now I’d be tempted to go for a big finish like, “You can do it too! Go to it, Zeroes! Out into the world and do!” But as no one’s reading this I may as well slink off to a small, darkened room, crouch in the corner and whisper it to a passing ant.