Lately Greenpeace has started a campaign against the usage of hazardous materials by Apple. The campain setup is friendly, nicely designed and urges Apple to choose materials which are less hazadous to the environment.As a spinoff of the Greenpeace campain all kinds of so called “journalists” have begun to put Apple on the “wrong end of the scale” of their “environment-o-meter”, and are happily writing doom articles about what will happen to your Karma if you buy any Apple product. But how environmentally unfriedly are Apple’s computers really?
Let’s say you believe the hype, and avoid Apple like the plague because of it’s environmentally unfriendly plastics, it’s huge pricetag and the risk of becomming a brainwashed cult member worshipping Apple for te rest of your life.
So you buy a shiny new $800 PC to run Vista, with that new 8 zillion transistor processor, dual “Energy Star” power supply and an “Energy Star” screen. When you turn the computer on, it starts to warm up your room with the 80 Watts it’s consuming. When you really put it through it’s paces, it consumes up to 150 Watts, or more if you bought that superduper video card which is more of an “audio card” when the fan starts blowing.
After a year of happy computing, your computer bogs down under the weight of all the “uninstalled” programs still on your drive. Vista 2 is released, and requires this all new Chipset to run, so you decide to buy a new PC. You give your old PC to your nephew, who totally turns it into an expensive $100 paper weight in 5 months, and it ends up in the trash because it can not be sold.
Obviously your new PC is way cooler than your old one, so it runs way hotter and uses more enery than ever. So there you are. Lot’s of money spent, lot’s of energy wasted, and lots of plastic in the environment, all in under a year.
Your mother is also in the market for a new computer to read your emails and watch your photographs. You try to push her into buying a “man’s computer”, but before you know it she falls for the slick designs and smoothtalk sales at the Apple store. She buys an iMac.
She installs the heidonous toxic pastic bomb in her living room because “it looks lovely”. You put on your ear protection to turn it on, but your mother warns you that is already up and running. Yes that’s right, you can’t hear an Apple when it’s on (and that goes for the fruit aswell). You don’t believe her, and measure the power consumption, which is less than half of the power of your PC, at comparabe system load. And the iMac has a built in screen to that, as well!
Your mother uses the iMac for a year, and you stop by for your yearly 15 minute “tea-and-bisquits-with-mom” session only to discover that the iMac is still running as fast as last year, and is looking just as good as it did when it came out of the box. In fact, the next 2 yearly visits are the same. The iMac does not deteriorate, and judging by eBay, it holds it’s value much longer than the average PC.
Each next version of the operating system hapilly runs on the “old hardware”, so your mother does not need to upgrade her hardware each time a new OS is released, apart from not needing to switch to the new OS anyway because it just works.
Having read all this, let’s see how PCs and Macs compare:
|Life expectancy:||1 year.||2 to 3 years.|
|End of life:||Ends up as worthless trash or power-gulping server.||Gets sold to a happy new user for a good price.|
|Power usage:||More than 100 Watts (Pentium 4 PC without screen).||Less than 50 Watts (Intel Core Duo Mac Mini without screen).|
So which one is environmentally unfriendly I ask you? There are way more environmentally unfriendly PCs in the world, which use more energy and end up in the trash more often. I still remember how my electricity bill changed when I switched from PC to Mac, and how it is still running smoothly today.
Just a thought…