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 Post subject: How much can a computer contaminate?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:42 am
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Location: United States
Why is there green pc. Does the pc make contamination?
Paul Weinstock


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:03 am
Posts: 364
Location: Sweden
Yes they do contaminate if you look at the total life cycle.

First we have production.
- Raw materials must be collected and refined. Quite a heavy burden on environment in many ways.
- Electronics manufacturing then use loads of clean water and energy.

Transport from manufacturer to consumer. (Energy consumption and particle pollution.)

Usage: Energy consumption.

Disposal: Transports (as above) plus toxic waste.

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Olle


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:20 am 
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 9:09 am
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Location: Northern California.
don't forget packaging of the computer components and the impact of software discs manufacture and distribution.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:49 pm
Posts: 336
Location: Upper left hand corner, USA
Also consider toxic/hazardous chemicals.

PCs contain lead (e.g. solder, CRT, stabilizer in PVC insulation (power cords, etc.))
Small amounts of mercury (CFL backlights, coin cell batteries)
etc.
Chemicals and residues from manufacturing processes. (Silicon valley has quite a collection of Superfund sites.)

For the user, computers outgass various chemicals (especially when new). Sniff a new computer item, especially in the warm outflow from the power supply. That smell of electronics is some kind of a combination of
plasticizers, manufacturing residues, resin, etc.

(I have a friend with multiple chemical sensitivity - trying to help her get a computer has been an education.)


As I recall the Silicon Valley Toxics coalition web site has some information on this type of thing. Also the Wikipedia entries on electronic waste or computer recycling.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:30 pm 
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Location: United States
"Green PC" is kind of disingenuous -- PCs manufactured today are far from environmentally friendly. Steps have been taken to reduce power consumption and the amount of toxic materials in them, but the manufacturing is still very resource intensive and much of the product is not easily recyclable.

Your best bet for a low impact PC would be to salvage a used PC that's in danger of ending up in a land fill. A light Linux distro like Puppy or DSL can breathe new life into older systems, especially P2 and P3 computers.

If you need more modern performance, you just have to suck it up and buy new. About all you can really do is pick lower power parts to try and reduce power consumption. As far as manufacturing goes, I doubt there's any significant difference between different brands. Maybe stick with smaller parts (i.e. microATX board and case, 2.5" drive, etc.) if you don't need the extra space, as they use fewer raw materials than larger ones.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:12 pm 
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Doesn't have to be a light distro either - especially on P3 systems. I have Slackware and Debian running on K6-2 and K6-III+ machines without any problems.

Most people, even those that promote recycling forget the "Reuse" part of the three R mantra especially when it comes to computers and other electronics.

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Last edited by NyteOwl on Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2004 5:47 pm
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
For years, Apple computer was on Greenpeace's hit list as the worst company in the world for environmental practices. They highlighted the fact that not all PC's are made alike, and some are much more toxic than others. There's various guides online to list how good or bad various companies are in their environmental practices.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:09 pm
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
While I laud and agree with the ideals that founded Greenpeace their actions have voided any credibility they may have had as far as I'm concerned.

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