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Green Macbook “Yeah what evah’
april 14, 2009, 3:28 pm
Filed under: Green Living, Greenwashing

The MacBook’s standpoint, or argument, for being “green” is its reduced packaging, better energy efficiency, and use of more recyclable materials in its build, such as mercury-free LED technology, arsenic-free glass, and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), etc. But while it may be true that the MacBook is composed of materials that come from more recyclable materials than traditional notebooks (up until this point in technology), the “green” factor here is definitely misleading. What is not listed here are the still harmful effects of manufacturing the product. The circuit boards for example are composed with the use of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), which contain: fluoride, acids, and halogenated solvents for cleaning; acids, stannic oxide, palladium, and complexed metals for electroless plating; and vinyl polymers, and chlorinated hydrocarbons for pattern printing. The irony is that the most environmentally damaging impact from laptops is when you throw them away. What’s funny is that Apple’s entire marketing objective is to encourage consumers to upgrade their old product for a fancy new ‘green’ one. MacBooks may actually be “greener” than the family of other notebooks, but the difference is so marginal that it is clear that Apple is green washing their product. Saying that a MacBook is “green” is like saying that the new Hummer is “green” because its gas mileage has improved from 10 mpg to 11mpg. Nonetheless, it should be clear that Hummers are more or less worse for the environment than they are better.

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