Environmentally Elegent Tech – A Greener Apple

The new MacBook Air has a few environmental tricks up it’s very slim sleeve. I know I haven’t spoken, on this blog, about tech from an environmental point of view. But it should be know that I am a gizmofreak. Steve Jobs Keynote at macWorld 2008 just ended with some awesome news for environmentally minded technofreaks. To begin you need to know a bit of background about the hazards of technology. No, I don’t mean the dangers of using your cellphone while driving. I’m talking about the environmental hazards that are associated with the components of the various electronic equipment and gadgets that we use on a daily basis.
Besides the space that all these gadgets (and their packaging) take up in landfills and garbage dumps, there are a plethora of chemical hazards to be concerned about. For instance, some materials that go into the making of electronics, and pose a major environmental hazardous are as follows:
Arsenic, Beryllium, Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Zinc, PCVs and PCBs.
Some may argue that these materials are extracted from the environment in the first place, so why are they hazardous when we dump it back in? It has to do with the form in which they are present. Most of these chemicals are trapped in rocks and in a different chemical form that is not harmful to the environment or human health. Once we extract these chemicals and process them they become highly toxic to wildlife and humans. Once our 20inch CRT monitors, and our once latest-cellphone-on-the-market are no longer our favorite possession, and are condemned to the junk pile these chemicals begin to leach out of the electronics. Everything from the plastic casing and glass, to the circuit boards contain these chemicals. Some leach at a higher rate than others, but the end result is the same. These chemicals are leached into soils, water reservoirs; taken up by wildlife, plants; biomagnified through the food web, and then bioaccumulated into our diets.
It’s not a pretty sight. But it’s not all gloom and doom just yet. We can still do things about it. There are a number of e-waste recycling programs where they will reuse certain components of your discarded electronics and safely dispose of other parts.

The other option is to opt for an environmentally sound piece of beautiful engineering in the hottest outfit in town. Here I’ll let you know about some of the outstanding features of the MacBook Air. A totally wireless laptop in Mac’s line of outstanding laptops. By totally wireless, I mean totally wireless including the use of optical drive through remote drive. It also boasts, and I mean boasts in every sense of the word, to be the thinnest laptop ever made. Compared to the previous title holder the Sony TZ series, which is between 0.8 inches at the front to 1.2 inches at the hinge. The MacBook Air, current title holder, measures in at a phenomenal 0.16 inches to 0.76 inches The thickest point being thinner than the thinnest point of the competition.

Here’s where this Apple turns its greenest. The aluminum casing is fully recyclable. This is great because the aluminum we get comes from tropical soils, and is becoming scarce. It is also “the first” to use a mercury-free LCD display with arsenic free-glass. The circuit boards are BFR- and PVC-free. To top it off, and intuitively so, the packaging uses 56% less materials than their sister macbook products.

Now that’s a piece of hardware I’d gladly carry around with a happy environmental conscience. But a sore pocket at $1,799US. Check out the MacWorld website for more details about the MacBook Air.

Keep the peace,

Photos are form http://live.gizmodo.com/

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