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  • We’re partnering with the High School for Environmental Studies to create a Secret Life class in which students make their own videos.
  • The Secret Life of Cell Phones was screened at cell phone recycling collection points throughout the Johns Hopkins University campus on Earth Day.
  • Zayed University in Dubai has requested use of Secret Life materials for its students.


INFORM is making strategic use of video and the web to reach a greatly expanded audience with critically important information about how to preserve the environment and protect human health.

INFORM’s research has shown that many consumers know little about the lifecycle environmental impacts of common products we take for granted in everyday life. From resource extraction to disposal, the products we manufacture, consume and dispose of have very real impacts on our environment and human health.We invite you to find out about what these impacts are, and learn what you can do to lessen your own personal impact on the environment.

The Secret Life Series

INFORM proudly launched its new The Secret Life Series with The Secret Life of Cell Phones.  INFORM’s first video series was inspired both by the organization’s longstanding commitment to providing accurate, reliable information as well as its more recent commitment to making the best use of video and the web.

By examining the environmental impacts of everyday items we all use, The Secret Life Series aims to raise awareness about how production and consumption affect the environment and public health. We hope that these videos will both educate and empower our viewers to take action on behalf of the planet.

The Secret Life of Cell Phones generated a global audience almost overnight. It has been viewed by over 25,000 people in 87 countries, discussed on over 50 blogs and commented on in a number of languages, including Serbian, Thai, French and Portuguese. The strong positive response to the first video has been encouraging. The second video, The Secret Life of Paper, has also been released. Future videos in this series will look at antibacterial soaps, jeans, and single-use plastic bottles.

Testimonials about the Secret Life of Cell Phones

“This is a gotta see, eye-opening video! Who would’ve imagined that, for example, there’s a gold ring to be forged out of the gold reclaimed from only 200 cell phones! AMAZING!”
– Doug Kievit-Kylar, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

“This is great.  You’re right, the biggest hurdle to increasing recycling rates in Maine (now that retailers and service providers have to accept them for recycling) is educating consumers so that they will recycle them. It is great to see you on YouTube, doing your good work!”
– Carole A. Cifrino, Environmental Specialist IV Division of Solid Waste Management, Maine Department of Environmental Protection

“I just watched the film and wanted to let you know right away that I think it's excellent. Compliments. You definitely did a good job of getting across the complexity of the issue without getting bogged down in it...”
– Jon Mooallem, New York Times

“Great video! Very informative. I love the concept of The Secret Life series - Looking forward to seeing the next one.”
– Leonora, Tree Hugger

“5 stars for a very useful and informative video clip!”
– Comment on YouTube

“The video had just the right combination of education and that certain seriousness to raise awareness of the issue.”
– Comment on YouTube

“Considering I have at least six old cell phones, this video by The Secret Life Series really got me thinking about the impact of cell phones on our environment and what can be done to minimize the dangerous amounts of e-waste.”
– Comment on YouTube

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