J500 Media and the Environment


Greening a computer store by bobbygrace
March 9, 2008, 2:57 pm
Filed under: Local Events + Action, Waste + Recycling | Tags: , , , ,

computer-dismantled.jpg
Photo: Gerard Lemos, flickr

I work the computer store on campus, The Tech Shop. I can sell two or three computers in a day and a lot more during back-to-school times. For a long time, I was satisfied by simply providing useful technology to students at great prices.

Sales schtick aside, people want computers. That is, people need computers. E-mail is a valid form of communication at KU and papers are expected to be submitted electronically. Around finals time, it can be a pain to find a computer in one of our computer labs. People need computers.

Following Moore’s Law, a computer three years in age will be four times as slow as a new computer. This is theoretical of course, but as computers become more affordable, more people are replacing their old ones. The stack of out-of-use computers adds up.

I wrote a post on the death bed of electronics and wondered what The Tech Shop could do about this. We now have an e-waste recycling program up and running. We work with KU Recycling who manages an extensive program for campus buildings.

There is more we are doing. All packing material, from cardboard to bubble-wrap, gets reused by our catalog department or compacted and recycled. We now carry the Grove line of computer bags from Targus. These bags are PVC-free, nickel-free and totally recyclable. Apple has steadily been updating their computers to make them more eco-conscious by using LED-backlit, mercury-free displays, PVC-free internal cables, and recyclable aluminum casings. As an Apple Campus Store, we are happy to offer these products.

I would like to see PVC-free bags and cabling, mercury-free displays, and less packaging in products throughout the electronics industry, but it’s not a perfect world. We’re just doing our part to make a difference.

I had to say that, sorry.

Bobby Grace

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4 Comments so far
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Bobby,

I love what you specifically are doing within the store to facilitate all that change. For the last year, an interesting conversation has been brewing about how much more Apple can do to be sustainable. Some feel like Apple is being picked on because they are perceived as being so cutting-edge and get such great press while others feel like they really were/ are behind the curve when it comes to environmental initiatives. It seems that Steve Jobs’ response to the Greenpeace campaign quelled the concern but I would love your thoughts on this.

Simran

Comment by j500

The open letter from Steve Jobs certainly had an impact, especially coming from such a secretive company. Greenpeace openly admits to targeting Apple to make an impact in the industry, even though they have such a small percentage of the market.

There will always be someone who thinks Apple needs to take things a bit further. That’s a valid criticism, but no other company is making such an effort. With the MacBook Air, their plans to eliminate hazardous materials and their recycling program, Apple is taking environmental issues seriously.

On the other end of the extreme, is the iPod nano really the green gadget of the year?

Bobby Grace

Comment by bobbygrace

[…] student in Professor Simran Sethi’s Media and the Environment course at the University of Kansas originally published this to the course blog on March 10, 2008. Photo: Gerard Lemos, […]

Pingback by Greening a Computer Store at KU (Guest Post) | Technophobiac Lifestyle

[…] student in Professor Simran Sethi’s Media and the Environment course at the University of Kansas originally published this to the course blog on March 10, 2008. Photo: Gerard Lemos, flickr I work the computer store on campus, The Tech Shop. […]

Pingback by Greening a Computer Store at KU (Guest Post) - GreenBlog.ir




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