5 ways to give your phone an eco-friendly Earth Day makeover—and plant a tree, too!

Kristine Solomon
·6-min read

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Verizon Wireless eco-friendly accessories
Let your cell phone have a spring fling! (Photo: Verizon Wireless)

Blooming gardens, lots of sunshine, the promise of picnics and pool days — that’s what springs to mind when we picture spring. But we also think about spring makeovers, and there’s almost nothing that isn’t worthy of one. That includes the trusted sidekick that goes everywhere you go: your smartphone.

It’s about time to dust that baby off and give it a nature-inspired refresh. Verizon’s collection of eco-friendly cell phone cases, high-speed chargers and lightweight AirPod cases are made in part with plant-based materials, recycled plastics or are 100 percent compostable. There’s something for every budget, and many of them are on sale right now. Plus, for each purchase you make of a Verizon-brand phone case this year, the company will plant a tree — 1 million trees as part of the buy one, plant one initiative.

Shop it: Verizon Eco-Friendly Phone Accessories, 25 percent off, verizon.com

Why is shopping for eco-friendly smartphone accessories so important? Consider what happens to your old cell phone case after you toss it in the recycle bin. Only five percent of consumer plastics are actually recycled, so it likely ends up lingering in a landfill for 1,000 years — that’s how long it takes for plastic to break down! Now multiply that number by 1.5 million, the number of cell phone cases that get trashed each year.

“We don't define cell phone cases as single-use plastics like a water bottle or plastic bag, but they're single use in that once your phone is upgraded, your case is pretty much obsolete. And there’s really no consideration for end-of-life management when it comes to cell phone accessories,” says Julie Anderson, CEO of Plastic Oceans International.

Anderson tells Yahoo Life that 400 million tons of virgin plastic are produced each year. By buying compostable smartphone cases and other accessories made with recycled and natural materials, you’re creating a demand that will eventually increase the supply of eco-friendly alternatives — and decrease plastic waste.

So step into spring with a fresh new phone and a fresh perspective on how a small shift in the way you shop can have a major impact on the world we live in. Start with these smart picks.

Pela Honey (Bee Edition) Eco-Friendly Case for iPhone 12 Pro Max

Pela Honey (Bee Edition) Eco-Friendly Case for iPhone 12 Pro Max (Photo: Verizon Wireless/Getty)
Pela Honey (Bee Edition) Eco-Friendly Case for iPhone 12 Pro Max (Photo: Verizon Wireless/Getty)

What’s all the buzz about? It’s this cheerful cell phone case with a honeycomb pattern and three busy bees who’ve come out of hibernation for spring! The construction of this case is pretty sweet, too: it’s made of 100 percent compostable and renewable bio-polymer as well as plant fibers. It’s also soft to the touch and won’t slip out of your hands.

Verizon has styles that fit iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini — and right now, you save $12.50!

Nimble Eco-Friendly CHAMP 10k PD Portable Charger

Nimble Eco-Friendly CHAMP 10k PD Portable Charger (Photo: Verizon Wireless/Getty)
Nimble Eco-Friendly CHAMP 10k PD Portable Charger (Photo: Verizon Wireless/Getty)

If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors this spring and summer — and we don’t blame you — then this portable, high-speed charger should be in your pocket or purse at all times. It charges your phone up to 80 percent in just a half hour and holds up to three full phone charges. And thanks to dual USB ports, it can charge two devices simultaneously.

This one’s made with 72.5% post-consumer plastic and comes in sea-inspired turquoise — a “shore”-fire way to give your phone a spring look. It also comes in green or charcoal, and it’s $12.50 off.

Case-Mate Rifle Paper Co. Eco Collection Case for iPhone 11 - Clear Wildflowers

Case-Mate Rifle Paper Co. Eco Collection Case for iPhone 11 - Clear Wildflowers (Photo: Verizon Wireless/Getty)
Case-Mate Rifle Paper Co. Eco Collection Case for iPhone 11 - Clear Wildflowers (Photo: Verizon Wireless/Getty)

You won’t find a more petal-perfect way to dress your phone up for spring than by fitting it into this minty green case scattered with whimsical wildflowers and made with sustainable, plant-based bioplastics. But don’t let the flowers fool you — this is no dainty accessory. It has an anti-scratch coating and it’s built to survive a 10-foot drop! Best of all, it’s fully recyclable after use.

This case comes in models to fit the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE (2020), 8 and 7. Score $10 off right now.

Verizon Clarity Case & Blue Light Screen Protector Bundle for Galaxy S21+ 5G

Verizon Clarity Case & Blue Light Screen Protector Bundle for Galaxy S21+ 5G (Photo: Verizon Wireless/Getty)
Verizon Clarity Case & Blue Light Screen Protector Bundle for Galaxy S21+ 5G (Photo: Verizon Wireless/Getty)

Sunglasses that block out UVA and UVB rays are important, but don’t forget to shield your eyes from your smartphone’s blue light emissions, which can lead to eye strain (or worse). This clear case made from sustainable, plant-based materials comes with an antimicrobial blue light-blocking screen protector that also prevents scratches, dings and cracks.

Don’t go anywhere without this smart bundle, which comes in models that fit Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, S21 Ultra 5G, S21+ 5G and iPhone SE (2020), 8 and 7. Verizon will plant a tree for each product purchased.

Tech21 EcoArt Collage Case for iPhone 12 mini

Tech21 EcoArt Collage Case for iPhone 12 mini (Photo: Verizon Wireless.Getty)
Tech21 EcoArt Collage Case for iPhone 12 mini (Photo: Verizon Wireless.Getty)

The leaves are back on the trees and we couldn't be happier. Show your love for the greenery of spring with this foliage-inspired, non-slip cell phone case designed with exclusive Tech21 artwork and made of 100 percent biodegradable materials, so it's fully sustainable.

It offers up to 10 feet of impact protection, so your device can survive drops, bumps and dings. Save $12.50 on this colorful cutie.

Verizon Clarity Gradient Case for iPhone 12 Pro Max

Verizon Clarity Gradient Case for iPhone 12 Pro Max (Photo: Verizon Wireless/Getty)
Verizon Clarity Gradient Case for iPhone 12 Pro Max (Photo: Verizon Wireless/Getty)

Got spring sunsets on the brain? The design of this cell phone case reminds us of an eternally colorful horizon, but the accessory itself pays homage to the planet with its eco-friendly construction: it’s made with sustainable, plant-based materials — and Verizon will plant a tree for each case you purchase.

This one’s also antimicrobial, scratch- and impact-resistant, and can absorb the shock of an accidental drop. Save almost $9 on a case for iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max or Mini.

Tech21 Evo Check Case for Apple AirPods Gen 2/1

Tech21 Evo Check Case for Apple AirPods Gen 2/1 (Photo: Verizon Wireless/Getty)
Tech21 Evo Check Case for Apple AirPods Gen 2/1 (Photo: Verizon Wireless/Getty)

Bringing your AirPods with you on a morning run and keeping them with you well into the evening can be a gamble, but this eco-friendly case lets you keep tabs on those little guys and protect them from impact and water damage, while also being kind to the planet. That’s because it's made in part of plant-based materials.

It’s so lightweight you might even forget you’re carrying it — but a comfort-grip ensures you won't lose it.

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