A great many of us now find computers an indispensable part of everyday life, whether it be at work or home. But consider this, a study by the United Nations discovered that an average 24kg desktop computer with monitor requires 10 times its own weight in fossils fuels to manufacture. Once water and other chemicals are also added an average computer uses 1.8 tonnes of material before it has even begun its working life. Then you have electricity use and after a few years it will probably need updating with a new one, and where does it go then?
Although in the West computers have been relatively mainstream for sometime, sales continue to increase by about 10% each year. There have already been well over 1 billion computers sold in the world since their inception and given the rapid development of countries such as China and India, computer ownership will only accelerate.
Given these amazing statistics it's no wonder the environmental impact of computers is steadily filtering down to consciousnesses of consumers and is beginning to be picked up by politicians and companies.
So, how can you help?
Well, the best thing to do is to thoroughly research the computer you wish to buy. Read up and if possible ask as many questions as possible to determine what the environmental impact of the PC or notebook is likely to be. The good news it that many top computer manufacturers are taking this issue increasingly seriously and you will discover that some computers are greener than others. Several manufacturers, including Sony, Fujitsu Siemens, samsung and Toshiba all now offer computers without damaging BFR and PVC in their motherboards and many major brand manufacturers have committed to eliminating these chemicals from all their computers within a few years.
Perhaps the most key recent moment for the green computer movement was when Apple announced the MacBook Air in January. The environmental impact of this notebook computer took key prominence in the announcement and there are several points of note. The notebook case is made from recyclable aluminium, there is no arsenic or mercury in the display and the motherboard is BFR and PVC free. It's packaging uses 56% less volume than other Apple notebook packaging.
Consider though that there are plenty of other green computer options out there and that the environmental impact of manufacture was not mentioned during the release. However, the fact the environmental issue was mentioned at all by America's third largest computer manufacturer indicates that the revolution could get well under way in 2008.
So, when you are next shopping for that new computer remember to keep some environmental questions in the forefront of your mind.
At Buy MacBook Air you will find a guide to the new MacBook Air as well as reviews and discussions about it.