Conversation and conservation. Two words that my life revolves around: finding kinder ways to live, and shouting about them. From saving bees to carefully curating my wardrobe, I’ve divulged a lot of my life with you… yet, I’ve never really written about ethical tech!
We all rely heavily on our technology, and with it the services to connect with one another. But can they be ethical?
Introducing: The People’s Operator
I was recently introduced to The People’s Operator (TPO), an ethical mobile network that has given more than £400k to good causes. It was the first time I had contemplated an ethical network: I’ve been with mine since I was a teenager, and never really questioned it. As the TPO shows, our phone networks can also be ethical, to the tune of:
- Donations to good causes. For every person on the TPO network, they donate 10% to charity. For instance, a mobile phone plan that offers 10% of a £20 monthly bill would donate £24 a year to good causes on your behalf. In real terms that’s about 10 lives potentially saved in sub-Sahara Africa through the cost of 10 mosquito nets.
- Charities of your choice. With 10% of your bill going to good causes, wouldn’t it be nice to choose where it went? Fortunately you can with TPO. Personally, I’ve been touched by the good work of Macmillan and The Prince’s Trust, but it’s completely up to you. They also link to smaller charities, making their service much more personal than a big corporate deciding on your behalf.
Research out this week also reminded me of the importance of charitable giving. In a poll of 2,000 respondents commissioned by TPO, they found that a quarter of the public no longer give to charities, with 28% saying they can’t afford to. For this reason alone, it is more important than ever that we continue to do all we can to help good causes, especially those that are rolled into the products we all know and buy.
Good Ethics, Good Service
It’s all well and good being a socially conscious consumer, but I have to know the service is going to be just as good as my usual provider before changing. With TPO, all you need to do is look at who the mobile network company is underwritten by or operated by, and what sort of network they have. This means you’ll have access to the same networks and coverage, but with an ethical provider!
You’ll also notice their plans are far cheaper than the ‘big four’ companies, even with the 10% charitable donation included. Their SIM only deals currently show I’m being overcharged for my plan – 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB data per month for under £10 is a steal! Time to make a change I think…