Evaluating the environmental impacts of a notebook computer requires an assessment of everything from the materials wont to manufacture it to its durability and energy efficiency and even whether it’s easily reused or recycled at the top of its useful life. As compared with desktops, laptops can have a smaller ecological footprint during their useful life, but they will still potentially cause environmental damage if not managed properly after they become obsolete.
1. Conserving Natural Resources
The smaller size and compact nature of laptop computers translate into a minor impact on natural resources than that of a comparable desktop. With a minimum of 65 percent and up to 90 percent reusable or recycled components, an outsized number of laptop models are currently produced by companies that provide a take-back recycling service and package the computers in reduced toxicity packaging, further decreasing the necessity for virgin materials to manufacture these products.
2. Using Energy Efficiently
To save energy and money, consider replacing desktop computers with laptops.
Thanks to fewer components, built-in monitors, and efficient CPUs meant to increase battery life, laptops use significantly less energy in comparison to desktop computers. For instance, with moderate use, desktops burn from 60 to 194 watts of energy. Laptops, on the opposite hand, burn from 19 to 60 watts when used at a moderate activity level, leading to up to 90 percent less energy use.
3. Contributing to Landfill Toxins
Mercury, lead, chromium, and other heavy metals that provide power and preserve functionality are some of the components a typical laptop can contain. If these toxins find you in an exceeding landfill, rather than a recycling center, they might contaminate groundwater, surface water, or the soil around the landfill. These potentially harmful effects demonstrate the importance of producing laptops with fewer hazardous materials and managing obsolete electronics appropriately to forestall unintended environmental damage.
4. Entombing Natural Resources
A number of valuable commodities are wont to manufacture a laptop, including engineered plastics, steel, copper, aluminum, and precious metals like gold, platinum, and palladium. Recycling programs try to recover these materials for reuse when laptops have reached “end of life” status, but only 38 percent of computers disposed of in 2009, sometimes even just be getting frequent errors like the unityplayer dll not found, were collected for recycling. The rest find themselves in landfills, where these reclaimable materials are not any longer available for reuse in the manufacturing of recent products.