The average American has six unused electronic devices at home collecting dust. When these end up in landfills, harmful toxins leak from the devices into the Earth and water. Known as e-waste, this accounts for 70% of the world’s toxic waste.
Green tech company, ecoATM, is on a mission to reduce e-waste and ensure devices such as cellphones, laptops and tablets, have a second (and sometimes third) lease of life. Its over 4,400 automated kiosks across America trade unused devices for cash, before they are recycled or re-sold.
In early 2020, ecoATM joined forces with Rumie – a nonprofit education charity that provides learning resources to students in underserved communities, including Afghanistan, Syria and Turkey. In these countries, there are millions of children not attending school either because they don't exist or there is a lack of qualified teachers, sanitation facilities within active schools or harmful gender norms that can be particularly detrimental to young girls.
Rumie’s smartphone app houses hundreds of free learning resources that enable these children to get an education and has so far helped over 35,000 young people access.
Rumie hopes to help thousands more, but the same problem kept arising…where do they get all these smartphones from? This is where ecoATM could play a significant role.
ecoATM briefed Manifest to create an awareness campaign highlighting education inequality and Rumie’s work. It had to not only be about words, but about actions. It must empower Americans to delve into the backs of drawers and put old smartphones to new uses.