Pin Me

Going Green with Your Technology - Computers

written by: Jennifer Claerr•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 9/29/2011

Some of the best technology makers are going green. Find out what computer manufacturers are doing to become more environmentally responsible.

  • slide 1 of 5

    About Green Technology Makers

    Historically, computers have posed a serious problem to the environment. Like other electronics, computers typically contain toxic chemicals such as arsenic, lead and mercury. Computers also typically use massive amounts of electricity, contributing to the energy crisis, carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Many computers end up in landfills after their useful life cycles are over, despite laws prohibiting such disposal. Fortunately, there are several green technology makers that are making strides toward making greener computers. Even better, these companies are the ones that we all know and trust, such as Hewlett Packard, Dell, Apple and Lenovo. Their green computers and computer-related products are readily available, and they even provide recycling and buy-back programs to help you dispose of your unwanted computers, peripherals and other electronic devices.

  • slide 2 of 5

    Hewlett Packard

    In recent years, Hewlett Packard has introduced many Energy Star qualified computers onto the market, including several that have won high EPEAT ratings. For example, the HP EliteBook 2530p notebook computer is Energy Star 5.0 qualified and has earned EPEAT gold. Also, Hewlett Packard has qualified for the Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay label, which is applied to products and services with reduced transportation emissions. HP is striving to use more recycled materials in its products and product packaging. HP has also instituted buy back and recycling programs for all brands of computers, monitors, printers, scanners and other computer technology. HP has its own huge recycling facility in Roseville, California which processes about 4 million pounds of electronics per month.

  • slide 3 of 5

    Dell

    Dell has introduced an ultra-green desktop computer called the Studio Hybrid. Its greenest desktop computer to date, the Studio Hybrid is Energy Star 5.0 qualified, has an 87% efficient power supply and an EPEAT gold rating. The Dell Studio Hybrid can be customized with interchangeable sleeves; there's even a sleeve available that's made from renewable bamboo. Dell has also made other strides toward becoming a greener technology company. Each year since 2004, Dell has increased its investment in renewable energy from wind, solar and natural gas capture. Dell has also made significant efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Dell offers free recycling of Dell computers and will recycle other computer brands for free with purchase of a new computer. Dell also accepts donations of working computers from companies all around the world.

  • slide 4 of 5

    Apple

    Apple is has begun to make many of its green computers with recyclable materials such as aluminum, polycarbonate and glass. Apple has made efforts to remove toxic substances, such as brominated fire retardants (BFRs), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), arsenic, lead and mercury from its products. Since 2008, the Apple MacBook Pro has been free from each of these dangerous environmental pollutants. By 2009, all Mac notebook and desktop computers had earned an EPEAT gold rating. The Apple MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac and other Apple models also meet Energy Star 5.0 guidelines. Another green computer made by Apple is the Mac Mini, which is an extremely energy-efficient desktop computer. The Mac Mini uses less than 14 watts when idle, and is free from BFR, PVC and lead. Like Dell, Apple will recycle any computer for free with the purchase of a new computer. Apple has recycling programs in most of the countries where their products are sold.

  • slide 5 of 5

    Lenovo

    Lenovo uses post-consumer recycled materials such as plastic water bottles in the manufacture of its green computers. Lenovo also uses recycled and recyclable materials for its product packaging. Lenovo was the first to earn an EPEAT gold rating for a computer monitor. Many Lenovo computer models, such as the IdeaPad and the ThinkCentre meet Energy Star 5.0 requirements. All Lenovo ThinkPad laptop computers contain 85% recyclable materials and have achieved an EPEAT rating of either silver or gold. Through its Eco Take Back program, Lenovo offers free recycling of all of its computers and other electronic products for small businesses and consumers in the United States. This green technology maker also has recycling programs in countries throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe.

    For more information, read The 5 Best Green Computers.

    Sources:

    "HP Eco Solutions," http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/environment/commitment/our-history.html

    "Dell Earth," http://content.dell.com/us/en/corp/dell-earth.aspx

    "Apple and the Environment," http://www.apple.com/environment/

    "Social Responsibility - Environment," http://www.lenovo.com/social_responsibility/us/en/environment.html