step 1: getting cell phones

We have returned to the States, finished our NYC vacation & settled in for our two-week stay in Evansville. There’s a long to-do list for the next month, one of them being our official transition to this blog. I’ve decided, since some of our tasks match the goals of this blog (discussing an eco-conscious, sustainable lifestyle), to post a bit here today.

Since leaving our French home for the long trek to the airport, then the long flights, then the stay in New York, we have not charged our cell phone. This is because we have a French charger & no adapter, & because we’ve kept it off except for moments when we need to make the odd phone call. (Ouch, international minute rates.) We knew that one of the first things we needed to do was get our cell phone situation in order.

When it comes to cell phones, I’m not really happy with any plan, any provider or any “deal”. Our family is scattered over providers, so what’s convenient for me isn’t exactly what’s convenient for Joe. We decided to opt for a company that matches something more important than who is in our network of free calls.

Enter Credo Mobile, a cell phone company that sends one percent of your bill to organizations like Planned Parenthood, Amnesty International & the Rainforest Action Network–and sends zero percent to “rogue” politicians.

Not only do they have great advertising, they have a great, sincere focus on giving to the public good instead of giving to politicians that will help their personal gain. Here’s how it started:

A small band of idealists comes together to further the causes of human rights, women’s rights, peace, environmentalism and an entire progressive agenda. They have an idea about helping people spend in a socially responsible way, turning everyday purchases into automatic acts of generosity.

I know what you may be thinking. But what if I don’t support gay marriage or saving the rainforest or stopping the death penalty or women’s rights (since many still see Planned Parenthood as an abortion clinic–click here to see why that’s not true)? It’s impossible to find a cell phone provider that isn’t giving to something–even if it’s Verizon, who supports a wide range of politicians–and their concerns will never fully match up to yours. We’ve opted for giving to causes that are working for positive change instead of corporate change.

So that’s the fun part of our plan–knowing that each bill helps causes we support. The less fun part was selecting a plan when our budget says, “You don’t need to text that much! This phone is FREE!” when your tech-obsessed brain says, “You should have cool smartphones with lots of apps & data!” Budget wins. We opted for the smallest family plan with simple phones & pay-as-you-go texting. We are officially the least cool cell phone holders of our group of friends.

While it’s definitely no real sacrifice–still have phones, still have a big window of free calling–we’re seeing this as a marker of how we want our spending to go: less on the fun extras for now, more on the savings for big fun (more traveling, more baking…) & more flexibility for other necessities.

Bonus tip: My phone offered a refurbished option. Electronics are one of the most difficult & dangerous things to recycle. Buying the refurbished phone, you cut back on your electronics footprint by recycling a phone. And there’s nothing to fear! The phones are good-as-new, & even if something did go wrong, they’re under contract to fix it.


About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
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5 Responses to step 1: getting cell phones

  1. A.C. Ford says:

    That sounds like a great plan! i’m still on my grandmother’s verizon plan, BUT my blackberry is used. You know, just doing my part 🙂 Happy to be following!

  2. Pingback: Step 2: becoming Betz | francofile

  3. Pingback: Step 3: setting up house | francofile

  4. Pingback: Step 2.5: becoming Betz (really) | francofile

  5. Pingback: Step 4: getting involved again | francofile

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