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Apple ad highlights "green" features of new MacBooks

updated 06:25 am EST, Tue November 25, 2008

Apple green MacBook ad

Apple has launched a new ad highlighting many of the environmentally-friendly aspects of the new MacBooks. The company touts the devices as "the world's greenest family of notebooks," due to the combination of recyclable materials, efficient power consumption and lack of hazardous chemicals. Steve Jobs issued a summary letter shortly after the new MacBook debut, outlining the company's environmental efforts. The statement reiterated the promised to remove PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from all hardware by the end of 2008.

After receiving the ranking of worst technology company with regard to environmental issues in the 2006 Greenpeace 'Guide to Greener Electronics,' Apple has worked to eliminate a number of chemicals, including mercury from CCFL back-lights, arsenic used in the display glass, and BFRs or PVC found in circuit boards, cables, adhesives, and other components. Many of the changes go above the RoHS requirements that define limits for a number of chemicals.

Greenpeace has backed away from its harsher accusations and even applauded the company for its efforts, although the environmental group was careful to note that more room exists for removal of hazardous materials. An independent study claimed to find a variety of dangerous chemicals in the fumes emitted by the MacPro, although Apple denied the findings.

The aluminum unibody housing and glass display are both completely recyclable, stepping away from the components of previous models that would be difficult or impossible to reuse in other products. Greenpeace has publicly criticized a number of other companies for producing products that end up in toxic dumps, even claiming that children sometimes shovel the discarded electronics into furnaces that burn the plastic away to extract scrap metals.

The ad claims that the notebooks run on a quarter of the energy consumed by a light bulb, a level efficient enough to earn an Energy Star rating. The drive spins-down when inactive, while processing tasks are switched between the GPU and CPU to further lower the power drain. The use of LED back-lighting and automatic dimming is claimed to use 30 percent less energy than LCD displays.

Apple has not limited its efforts to the MacBook line, with the latest iPod generations also featuring eco-friendly changes. The company has also taken other steps to reduce its carbon-footprint, including reduction in packaging size that lowers paper consumption and allows larger numbers of devices to fit in each shipping container.

by MacNN Staff




  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    in the words of Skippy:


    After seeing this ad for the 4th time in 90 minutes, I began to feel a little sorry for Apple; they finally acknowledged the complaints of the yapping toy dog that is greenpeace. For those of you who don't know, gp is a very small group of extremists who, desperately seeking attention, tries to attack well known entities on the most spurious of charges.

    Do consumers really care about small levels of toxins that are adequately dealt with before dispersal? No. The only real plug was that the machine needed less power, with a possibly longer battery life. And don't get me started about just how many, or in this case few, people care about the "green" label outside areas like SF where they've bought into that rot gut.

    Give me a high-power MacPro that required the plant to process a few heavy metals over a wimpy green notebook any day. Same goes for what I drive.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Dan must live in a blissful (frustration filled) cocoon of ignorance. Most people i talk to are very much excited about/interested in the "green" initiative. This includes everything from lighting, landscaping, cars and appliances they buy, using more mass transportation, buying organically grown foods, and yes, even pumping E85 or veggie oil vs gas or diesel. The last time i really looked, most people with those "nerdy" canvas or recycled plastic shopping bags have an ipod too, or told me they were waiting till this revision to purchase one. Oh, sorry, there goes your hateful hypothesis. Good luck finding inner peace Dan.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    more pragmatic than hatef

    Short of getting into what I hope would be an logical argument, I'll give a nod to there being a large ad campaign in many industries putting the halo around the term 'green.'

    You'll have to forgive most of us that see beyond the hype and see the large dollar gap between when the green sticker gets you and what it doesn't. Being an architect for a budget design company, we'll only push the usual energy-saving initiatives if they'll hold out and give back plenty more than there cost would up front (i.e. interest for what money they could have made elsewhere for that investment).

    Everything from lightbulbs to irrigation systems gets looked at, but until it makes sense fiscally to make that kind of investment, most people are smart enough to stay out. Most people want the freedom to not be chained to public transit. Most people don't want degraded fuel ruining their engines, especially when it costs a whole lot more at the pump, even after massive tax subsidization.

    I think I'd like a show of hands from our ahem cultured MacNN posters. Who here really cares about the green sticker on the new MacBooks as the MAIN selling point?

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