As part of the CIT’s drive to participate in the campus green initiatives, I’ve been looking into green technology, not just in the ways we conserve energy with better light bulbs or by choosing the best energy protocol for our computers, although those things are important, and we are exploring ways to save energy in the office. I’m really talking about efforts to create technology, especially computers, that use fewer toxic chemicals that are difficult to recycle.
Here’s a good discussion of both energy and hazardous waste in computers and some promising work, from World Changing: Change Your Thinking.
I lease five Dell Latitude D610 laptops that are mostly used for scanning and to offer faculty and students more machines with productive software they might not be able to afford on their own computers. We also lend them for short periods, along with the eight old purchased Macs we inherited, and the two new MacBooks. The lease on the Dells is in its last year, and I’m looking for replacements that are greener. For lending and the occasional scanning, we don’t need a big powerhouse of a machine. We just need small, capable machines that hold up to multiple users. Our bigger desktops fulfill the big software needs of the Adobe Suites, the video-editing and music software, the Second Life viewers.
I’m skeptical that there will be enough progress in green laptop development by next fall; most work seems to going on with desktop CPUs. BTW, what happens to our leased laptops when they go back?