Consumers want environmentally friendly computers
June 26, 2006
A study conducted earlier this year by Ipsos-MORI on behalf of Greenpeace found that consumers say they would be willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly computer.
Electronic waste ("e-waste") is a serious concern for environmentalists. Every year, hundreds of thousands of old computers, mobile phones, and other electronic devices containing toxic chemicals are dumped in landfills, burned, or exported to poor countries where they are salvaged for parts and buried. The built-in obsolescence of cheap electronic goods has worsened the problem in recent years.
Some companies are now offering e-waste recycling programs to safely remove toxic elements and reuse components and raw materials. Dell, one of the world's largest manufacturers of computers recently said it would phase out the use of two especially toxic chemicals -- brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and the plastic polyvinyl chlorine (PVC) -- by 2009. Hewlett Packard (HP), LGE, Nokia, Samsung, Sony and Sony Ericsson have recently made similar commitments according to Greenpeace, which believes these programs are key to the making the tech industry greener.
Computer monitor washed up on a remote beach in Central Africa
Cloth or Disposable Diapers: Answering the Age Old Question
A baby has been described as an alimentary canal with a loud voice on one end and no responsibility on the other. A couple from Australia, Jason and Kimberly Graham-Nye, are addressing the "end of the canal" with an innovative product—a "green" diaper.
A Green Wal-Mart? Wal-Mart embraces environmental sustainability
While Wal-Mart is a favorite target for a broad spectrum of activist groups, the world's largest retailer has taken a number of steps in recent months to improve the environmental sustainability of its operations. In October 2005, CEO Lee Scott presented an environmental plan to boost energy efficiency, increase organic food sales, and reduce waste and greenhouse gases emissions. Scott told reporters that the world's largest retailer had to be a "good steward for the environment" and believed that adopting greener practices would also be good for business by cutting costs. As part of the plan, Wal-Mart will aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2012—the Kyoto Protocol called for a 7 percent cut by the United States by that date, while targeting 100% renewable energy and zero waste. The company also announced commitments to social responsibility including increasing the number of women and minority managers.
Google, MIT support $100 laptop for the world's poorest children
Google, AMD, Brightstar, News Corporation, and Red Hat have signed on to MIT's low-cost laptop initiative which aims to deliver a fully functional $100 machine to the developing world. MIT Media Lab, taking a page out of a revolutionary business book by C.K. Prahalad, is developing a Linux-based, full-color, full-screen laptop that will use innovative power sources -- including batteries or hand crank -- and will be able to do most everything that a standard laptop can do except store large amounts of data. According to MIT, these rugged laptops will be WiFi- and cell phone-enabled, and have USB ports, a 500MHz processor, and 1 gigabyte of storage capacity using flash memory instead of a hard disk.
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