The Nature of Things·Video

These teenagers replaced broken iPhone screens on their first try – and you can too

If we all kept our smartphones for just 8 months longer, we could cut 35 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

If we all kept our smartphones for just 8 months longer, we could cut 35 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

If you fix your phone, you can help save the planet | Curb Your Carbon

5 months ago
Duration 2:51
Instead of throwing away your electronics due to a cracked screen or worn out battery, trying repairing it. If we used our phone for just 8 months longer, we could eliminate the same amount of CO2 emissions released by Ireland every year.

Now streaming on CBC Gem.


Globally, we buy about 1.5 billion smartphones every year —  about the weight of five Titanics —and it's taking a massive toll on the environment. Adding to this purchasing trend is that some manufacturers make it complicated to fix what we already own.

So, what can we do about it? In Curb Your Carbon, a documentary from The Nature of Things, we meet Kyle Wiens, the founder of iFixit, a company that helps people to repair their home appliances, devices and electronics. 

"Our goal is to teach people how to fix their stuff," says Wiens. "We're doing this not just because we want to help people fix things, but because it's important for the future of the planet that we use fewer resources, that we make the things we have last as long as possible."

To show that it isn't that hard to repair electronics, Wiens put a group of teens in Whitehorse, Yukon to work. Their task? To replace the cracked screens on iPhones that were tossed. With a little instruction and the right tools, every student managed to easily get a phone working again, breathing new life into a perfectly functional device that was otherwise destined for the landfill. 

"I think anyone can fix anything," says Wiens. "It's just a matter of determination and time."

Watch the video above for the full story.

Watch Curb Your Carbon now on CBC Gem.

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