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Greenpeace Wants a Green Apple
Sarah Rich, 28 Sep 06

ilovemymac.jpgLest our last post on Greenpeace make you think that the organization is all about water quality and whales, check out their Apple campaign: a multi-media call to action for computer users who care about the Earth. "I love my Mac. I just wish it came in green," proclaims the website, which does a commendable job of pointing out Apple's environmental failings without smearing them or ordering consumers to choose a different brand. The message instead is that we love this brand and the product they sell; we want to keep using it, but we believe the company has enough integrity to make some changes in recognition of their loyal customers' ideals.

It's no secret that e-waste is a huge problem -- one that is being addressed through new standards and regulations in industry and government. But the Greenpeace campaign demands more than just complying with or catching up to the standards that so many other computer companies now honor; they demand that Apple surpass the best of today's responsible computer production processes:

We're not asking for just "good enough." We want Apple to do that "amaze us" thing that Steve does at MacWorld: go beyond the minimum and make Apple a green leader.

We've been imagining a green computing scenario for some time. Given the amount of gloom and misery available around the topic of computers and pollution (and the campaign does capitalize on it some, with images of toddlers in front of heaping electronic mounds), this is a refreshingly positive approach to urging change. Apple is apparently so cutting-edge as to even warrant an innovative consumer backlash. A boycott would be too 90s; instead this is something like conditional support dictated by the user. There are a number of means and methods suggested at the campaign site for getting involved in the collective encouragement of Apple to do better by its fans. Naturally, you can use your Apple to participate in the process.

Thanks, Ed.

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I assume that Greenpeace is not merely focusing on Apple, right? Dell, IBM, Sun, Toshiba, Lenovo, Epson and others all contribute to the problem as well.

I have been using a local company, RE-PC, for over a decade to deal with my old hardware. My laptop is over 7 years old, running Linux. It doesn't have to be the fastest to do all things I need for work. If it ever gets too beat up to function, I'll buy another used laptop. I upgrade my two desktops, which I use for gaming, card by component often buying used components, from RE-PC, when performance isn't an issue. This makes it easier for RE-PC to deal with my waste stream.

I guess Apple, since their business model is centered around selling you a whole box, really ought to badger their customers with great trade-in deals. That way the customers can upgrade without thinking about it and Apple can recycle the old hardware internally. This loop needs to be closed.

Posted by: Pace Arko on 28 Sep 06

Unfortunately, Greenpeace is unfairly singling out Apple here. Many companies have issues, including ones such as Acer and HP that GP reviewed in the same writeup! ecoIron has links to the major issues.

Roughly Drafted has also really taken them to task. Green computing is relatively new and no one is doing everything right. Apple is no exception, but this targeting and selective bullying is absurd.

Posted by: Mark Ontkush on 28 Sep 06

Greenpeace is apparently just targeting Apple, which is a shame because I love the mac platform. I don't see singling them out as a bad thing, however. I see it more in the lines of socially responsible investors buying up shares of a bad company to institute change on its exec board. Apple tends to dislike bad press, it usally counters with a cease and desist order, but most of the computer industry looks to apple for ideas. Hopefully, Greenpeace's campaign can actually do something positive.

Posted by: Greg on 28 Sep 06

apple makes good money being environmentally harmful. business grows with money. did greenpeace by any chance mention any businesses that human beings can support that are more 'environmentally friendly'. business grows with money. by supporting 'environmentally friendly' business a trend will be seen among investors. investers, after seeing a trend of growth in a business, will invest in said business. business grows with money.

Posted by: tommy2two on 28 Sep 06

for instance, i've knoticed for awhile VIA has bin developing high efficiency processors for awhile now. i just ran into this article also.

Posted by: tommy2too on 28 Sep 06

I think this is brilliant. Apple is, by far, the most loved brand with the most loyal customers. And Apple has a history of paying attention when its loyalists make noise.

Greenpeace is not saying Apple is evil. Greenpeace apparently carefully surveyed the consumer electronics manufactures, decided which one was most amenable to a public relations campaign, and crafted a carefully worded "no shame, no blame, but shape up" campaign.

I'd say more about this, but I need to fire off a carefully worded, positive letter to Apple, letting them know how long I've been a customer, how much I love their products, and how I'd love them even more if they were greener!

Posted by: Jan Steinman on 28 Sep 06



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