A Greener MacBook

enviroappleI don’t know if many of you have seen the new Macbook commercials yet, but Apple has released a new “greener” laptop. The new notebook is free (less than 900ppm Br and Cl, as defined by Apple) of brominated flame retardants (BFRs), which are present in many industrial products.  The toxicity of many of these compounds has not yet been extensively studied and BFRs are currently showing up increasingly in the environment and in humans (Birnbaum, L; Staskal, D. Brominated Flame Retardants: Cause for Concern? Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol 112, 1, January 2004).  In addition, all internal cables in the laptop are free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the LED glass display is free of arsenic and mercury and uses 30% less power than traditional laptop displays, the computer is encased in less packaging, and the battery is free of lead, cadmium, and mercury.  (A more detailed analysis can be found here.)

The notebook has been rated at the highest level by the EPEAT, an agency that helps electronics manufacturers environmentally evaluate their products.  Apple seems to explain a lot of the information regarding the new Macbook’s environmental safety well to the average consumer, but I think the sales pitch of environmentalism still comes into play a bit.  Although the notebook can’t be free of all harmful materials whatsoever, it seems like a better (and cooler) option than most of the other notebook computers on the market.

Comments (3) Add yours ↓
  1. adetmer

    I am glad that Apple is producing a product that is more environmentally friendly than other computers being manufactured. However, I am a bit skeptical of a few things. One, I think that Apple may be playing into the whole “going green” national trend. The “greener” Macbook is definitely a good marketing scheme and will attract those who want to aid in using less harmful manufactured products. My other concern is that there are probably still harmful products and chemicals in the computer, just significantly less. Despite my concern, I think that it is a good idea that scientists are beginning to develop computers that will have a better effect on the environment.

    18 December 2008
  2. rkoehler

    I totally support the idea of greener electronics amongst other products, but my main concern is cost. How much do these new MacBooks cost and how much will that play into their sales? I think it’s great that corporations are becoming more concerned with the environment but I often feel that their “greener” products are so much more expensive than the regular ones that they aren’t purchased enough to make a significant impact in helping the environment.

    19 December 2008
  3. skassel

    Dell isn’t too happy with Apple’s ads

    21 December 2008

Your Comment