World Summit-How 'green' is Apple?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Griffindor73, Sep 1, 2002.

  1. macrumors member

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    #1
    I have been hearing about the World Summit in Johanisburg this week and I was wondering- how environmentally friendly are our Macs and Apple in gereral?

    For example:
    How recycable is the computer itself?
    Are the new flat screen iMacs more friendly that the old CRT models (What gasses are in the tube etc)?

    What uses the most energy- Starting up/Shutting down or sleep mode? My computer is on sleep most of the time- I only shut it down if I am going away overnight/for the weekend. Should we be thinking about shutting down every night- I know only one mac uses a little energy- but think about millions of macs sleep lights pulsing on and off and how much energy that uses!

    Campainers at the summit are attacking the records of business on the environment, and Apple and other computer companies are big business? US businesses and government seem to be in for the most critism as the US has been singled out as the most poluting nation on earth, yet has a very small and distant presence at the summit itself (probably not helped by the general ignorance of Mr G. 'W' Bush himself.)

    Is there anything that Apple could/ should be doing to help?

    Thoughts, please!


    Check out this BBC Website link for more info:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/st...osable_planet/energy/alternatives/default.stm
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    madamimadam

    Joined:
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    #2
    Well, it is ALWAYS a good idea to restart your machine in the morning so you might as well shut down and start up in the morning saving a small amount of power.

    If you do nothing with you machine all the time, though, I would suggest helping out the folding@home team.
    ;)
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #3
    Re: World Summit-How 'green' is Apple?


    I can't imagine Apple is any more or less environmentally friendly than any other computer company. New CRTs are more environmentally friendly than older ones, but Apple doesn't make its own CRTs or LCDs (or hard drives or CPUs or video cards or RAM). It does design some of its own components including its motherboards, enclosures, and various ICs, but it farms out manufacturing to other companies. In that respect, Apple is a lot like Dell or any other large PC vendor. I can't imagine recyclability being any concern in the design/manufacturing process. Toxicity yes, recyclability no.

    Well, put that in perspective by thinking of how many people leave a single light bulb on in their house when they don't need it on. The average light bulb draws 60 watts of power. A PowerBook draws less than 1 watt in sleep mode. That's less than a night-light. I would guess other Macs' sleep power usage figures are similar. The average Mac probably uses more energy in 8 hours of sleep than in 1 minute of booting up, but not a lot more. I think if energy consciousness is our goal, there are much more egregious violators of this principle than our Macs' sleep mode. :)

    Alex
     
  4. macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #4
    i think that the new macs (maybe the last 2 revs) at least in certain models are now being made of recycled parts...

    i could be wrong but i think that's what i heard
     
  5. macrumors regular

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    #5
    Who cares?! The world summit is full of nothing but a bunch of anti-capitalism socialists who would love to see the U.S. and its companies in financial ruin. Compare our air/water quality to any other industrialized nation on the earth and you'll find that its of the highest standard.

    I know that Steve Jobs is a big time liberal and probably agrees with a lot of what these KOOKS have to say about the environment. That is unless they want to apply overly strict environmental standards to Apple that they would apply to other big businesses.

    AND! Don't get me started on how it would hurt the consumer as these big companies would simply make-up for the expense of abiding to these enviro-standards by passing it off onto us.
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #6
    I think somebody's been listening to too much Rush Limbaugh...
     
  7. macrumors 68040

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    #7
    You just HAD to put a little comment about how much you hate Bush in the thread. Was it your intention to get this thread closed? Now all we're going to have is a bunch of crybabies whining about their respective political party.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    madamimadam

    Joined:
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    #8
    I wish I could say the same about Australia... the downside to being a heavy coal country.

    As for the US having the highest standard air.... give me a break... the only thing that saves the US in that field is the amount of space that it covers and the smaller populated areas make up for the highly populated areas.
     
  9. macrumors regular

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    #9
    Nope, although I have great respect for Rush Limbaugh and his views I would have to say that he is not enough of a strict constitutionalist the way that I am. Check out http://www.LP.org for an idea of where I'm coming from. It maybe a great introduction to some of you on the ideas and superiority of limited government.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    madamimadam

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    #10
    I think it is more likely that it will be moved to the Community area
     
  11. macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #11
    wow. some people are dumb


    for instance, rush limbaugh

    and if you are even more of a strict constitution interpreter then you will have some problems i think.

    blah.
     
  12. macrumors regular

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    #12
    Is dumb the best you could come up with? You've probably never made an arguement with any substance to it in your life which is why you resort to name calling. What problems could I possibly have by being a strict constitutionalist other than liberals calling me dumb? I don't use the saying constitutional interpreter because the U.S. constitution is quite clear in its meaning. It is after all a legal document and our founding fathers wanted everything to be clearly defined.
     
  13. Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #13
    Are you trying to argue that our founding fathers had complete foresight and could see into the future and make provisions in the Constitution for any and all future events/technologies/social changes? Please, give it a rest.

    The U.S. Constitution, and therefore the the U.S. Goverment, is in needs of constant revision to make it applicable to our world as it is today. Because, that which does not adapt is doomed to die.
     
  14. macrumors regular

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    #14
    You show complete ignorance when it comes to the U.S. constitution. Its fundamental knowledge that the founders realized that things may change in the future and therefore allowed that the constitution be amendable.

    Oh, and 1 more thing. Rush Limbaugh (who is an Apple user) can't be that dumb because he realizes superior technology when he sees it just like the rest of us. Not only that he'll talk about the superiority of the Macintosh from time to time on his radio show.
     
  15. macrumors G4

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    #15
    Jesus Christ man, that just made you look really intelligent.:rolleyes:
    Maybe if you've been around long enough here you'd have figured out by now that jello is a helluva person to argue with. The problem with strictly interpreting what the Constitution is exactly what Rower_CPU said; the Founders could not have forseen what was going to happen in 300 years, that's why there's amendments. To blindly agree with everything it says is stupid. It's not all what's right and good in this world. We have a whole section of the Middle East that disagrees with us and justified or not, they have their reasons.
     
  16. macrumors regular

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    #16
    I anxiously await any arguement that (ahem) jello can bring to the table. As for me blindly agreeing with everything the constitution says, I do no such thing. I very much disagree with the 16th amendment (which gives congress the authority to collect income tax) and would have firmly disagreed with the 18th amendment (prohibition) had I been around at the time.
     
  17. Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #17
    Your lack of tact and respect for others is astounding.

    How can you be so naive as to blindly follow the laws set down on a piece of paper over 200 years ago? Amendments are analogous to software patches or updates. Eventually you get to the point where a complete rewrite is neccessary.

    The U.S., and the world in general, has grown to the point where we cannot proceed under the assumptions that our actions do not affect other countries. The limited government envisioned by the writers of the Constitution was an overreaction to the dictatorship of England. It worked when the U.S. constituted 13 states on the Eastern sea board. It does not work for a country as large as ours has become.

    The ideals and principles of the Constitution are wonderful, but the laws therein should not be held as gospel today.
     
  18. macrumors G4

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    #18
    BTW, just because Rush Limbaugh uses a Mac doesn't mean he's intelligent. Last time I checked, there were some idiot Mac users (some even on this forum, imagine that) and yes, you should care about how thrown away computers affect the environment, you're living in it right?
     
  19. macrumors regular

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    #19
    Tell me, what protections of rights and limits on government are there in the U.S. constitution that dont apply or shouldnt apply to our life in the U.S. today? What horrible rewrite would you insist upon?

    The constitution was by no means an overeaction to England. The Revolutionary War was the response to England for their oppressive ways. The U.S. constitution was the response to the history of evils from government and avoiding a large centralized government at all costs.

    By the way I do care about the environment I live in. I just dont think that the federal government should have a 1 size fits all regulation on business. Its far more effective if each individual state has its own policy.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    madamimadam

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    #20
    Sssssooooo.... the Apple Mac is easily recycled?!
    ;)
     
  21. macrumors G4

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    #21
    I think one of the main problems of the Constitition is that no truth is eternal. It can all be amended. There's nothing eternal about it at all, it can all be changed whenever the powers that be wish it. That is our sacred document's flaw. Another one is that it seperates the church and state. No other government in the history of the world has ever had that before, by these terms, it's pretty radical compared to everything else. By no means am I implying that Bush make Christianity or any other religion a national standard, but it's better to believe in something than in nothing.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
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    #22
    Anyway :rolleyes:
    I would guess that the Mac has about the same lead content as most other computers. THe fact that Apple uses primarily LCDs should make them more environmentally friendly though (certain models)

    And in the future, please don't post arbitrary comments about politics in your posts unless it's a thread on politics. This is a thread on recycling macs griffondor, not your opinion of how intelligent you think the President is. Community Discussion is there for a reason and all that a comment like that will do is cause a flamewar.
     
  23. Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #23
    The creation of our government was completely a reaction against the monarchical government of Britain. Why else would the system of checks and balances be put in place? The forefathers sought to prevent any one part of the government from having too much control, even at the expense of a smooth running system whereby action and decisions could be made swiftly.

    My main problem with our system today is that special interests and corporate lobbies have too much influence over legislation. Laws that would protect the environment, or bring about social change are stymied by big money and our outdated puritanic sense of morals.

    You say you don't blindly follow the Constitution? The why are the only two things you disagree with Amendments to the original document?
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    #24
    I'll deal with both sections of that and hopefully shed some light on the actual topic of this thread.

    Firstly the people attending the World Summit in Johannesburg aren’t anti-capitalism socialists. They come from a very wide variety of areas and more than a few of them work for large corporates. They aren’t seeking to put their employers out of business.

    Secondly air and water quality in the US is terrible. I really hate to break that fact to you but it is fairly universally known by the environmental engineers in the US. Australia’s water quality is lousy too but it isn’t from coal it’s from a variety of more serious areas, many of which the US also faces.

    Next on to the expense of environmental standards and dealing with environmental wastes (hit page down a few times if you don’t want to read this ;) ). I won’t go into that much detail because in all honesty this topic area is massive and if I get started I won’t stop. I could easily write a book on this topic.

    To abbreviate it into a few words the basis of these environmental standards is largely from the fact that previously it has been the custom of companies to ignore the environmental aspects of their operations especially when it is cheaper to do so. That simply is not a viable mode of operations. These standards aren’t cooky things people at Greenpeace have thought up. Professionals, following very detailed reports into the areas, develop them. They are an effort to apply value to the environment and create level playing fields (I’ll explain that later).

    There is a major issue when it comes to being environmentally friendly (depending on the industry and environmental concern this can in fact be not the case. Often by being environmentally friendly you improve efficiencies and thereby economic performance as well. It's quite complex) and that is the fact that often it is cheaper to not be. So unless you are being forced there is little incentive to be environmentally friendly (also not entirely true but to be perfectly honest I’m not going overboard with detail because I doubt people will read most of it. If you really want it though it isn’t hard considering this is one of the areas I work in). Let me give you an example.

    When you manufacture paint you produce roughly 8 litres of wastewater per 1 litre of paint (the US alone produces roughly 5 million litres of paint each year). I was having a discussion with someone not long ago and basically they said why don't you hand off those 8 litres to the people buying the paint and have them deal with it or include it in your price. The reply to giving it to the consumer to deal with is rather sobering.

    If you give it to the consumer to deal with most likely it will just go down the sink. Consumers really aren't willing to pay to deal with these issues because to be frank most people are too ill educated to understand them. Around 90% of consumers fit into a broad group that basically says, “If I can’t see it, it mustn’t be affecting me.” Most people don’t quite understand the wastes that a single plant can produce let alone a city or country full and honestly most don’t care.

    To be perfectly blunt in an ideal world if a consumer is going to use a good or service they should have to deal with the cost of dealing with the waste. People are just too used to the past where the environment wasn’t a factor at all and therefore didn’t contribute to price at all. To some extent they do have to pay these costs now but by and large consumers get off cheap.

    As to passing the price on to the consumer this is a little more complicated. To generalise and simplify it a great deal though it is difficult to be environmentally friendly and remain economically competitive with your competitors, who aren’t incurring the additional costs you are. That simplifies it somewhat though. For instance a certain Aluminium smelting company used to produce left over waste metal, which was causing some environmental issues, just by recycling that metal they managed to save themselves around $2 million a year. Not a lot but that is a very minor case.

    That said when you bring minimum legislated levels into practice that ultimately tighten over time the climate changes somewhat. For instance in plant design now quite often people will look ahead in development and try to design clean so to speak. By being ahead of the curve from the start you will have a longer grace period before you have to start addressing environmental issues.

    The benefit of legislating though is a) you get everybody to a critical point and b) nobody has an economic excuse compared to competitors (not quite true again but I have a character limit :p ) for not implementing improvements and in fact you have economic reasons to implement change.

    Onto Apple and the computer industry as a whole. This is a little complicated (it always is) and there will always be people that debate whether this is Apple’s concern or someone else’s.

    Firstly LCDs and power. From a simple power point of view LCDs are better than CRTs were. Modern computers are also not that huge a drain (around 10 lights) on the power supply and Macs tend to require less power than most. From a power point of view they aren’t a huge problem however they should always be looking to improve energy efficiency.

    From a recycling point of view it is possible. It would be similar to recycling mobile phones, which is done in Europe. There is certainly some argument that computer manufacturers should have to deal with the computer once it becomes waste. The real problem is that you really don’t get much back from recycling a computer and it is a rather costly procedure.

    From a lifecycle point of view the industry isn’t wonderful, although it probably isn’t the worst. Most of the environmental concerns come from the manufacturing stages upstream of Apple. There is a significant amount of waste with computers and ultimately you can attribute that to the manufacturer. They can certainly do a lot to cut down on material usage and encourage upstream users to be friendlier to the environment (processor manufacturing, plastics and metals. It isn’t nice wonderful upstream).

    The problem faced by the computer industry is similar to the car industry. They can’t really do much with the car once it is dead and there are a lot of wasted materials in it so they really need to increase its useful life expectancy (cars currently average 7 year lives and need to reach around 20 – 25), improve efficiencies and decrease material usages.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Well informed post Telomar. Just to add a point to your last car bit, The European Union is issueing a directive that means Every Car sold in europe has to be completely recycleable and the manufactures have to do the recycling when the car's life comes to and end!
     

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