With all the recent hullabaloo about the new greener Macbook, it’s easy to forget that there have been some green computers out on the market for some time, and that they address areas that Apple has not. While Apple is to be applauded for their efforts, there are other companies that take green computing further:
Iameco (said “I am eco”) is the product of Dublin based Micropro Computers. What makes them greener than your average beige box? As Paul Maher puts it, they are updateable, upgradeable, reusable, and recyclable. And in some cases, biodegradable. More on that in a moment.
Many of their computers are about a third smaller than your typical box, and likewise shave a third of the energy needed to make it. Wood and aluminum compose most of the boxes. Is the wood FSC or otherwise certified? Don’t know that, ask them! And the monitors, keyboards, and mice are plantable.
Come again? Yes, their cases are made from waste product from the wood pulp industry in Europe. None of the usual metal or plastics is needed to give them structure. And when they’re done, they can be buried in the ground, biodegrading within 3 years.
What about the internal workings? According to the site, “iameco environmentally friendly computers contain none of the toxins that have traditionally been used in computer manufacture.” Does that mean they don’t use toxins in building them, but are the actual components toxin free? Something to ask them, if you’re interested.
Now I’m a rabid Mac user, but these Windows computers have another sustainable advantage: They’re built modular. That means all components, whether broken or you’d like to upgrade them, can be easily swapped out. That includes the motherboard. So, rather then buy a whole new computer when you want to modernize it, you add to it, piece by piece, theoretically keeping the computer as a whole until you’re tired of looking at it.
But with the designs they’ve come up with, that could take some time.
From the muscular Sarah to the whimsical Emma or the over the top diamond monogrammed Conchi they seem to have something for most any taste. Someone with a taste for the unique, original. And if you want something more straightforward with a touch of flair, they have that too, like these.
I do however wonder about where their diamonds come from, are they likewise sustainable?
These almost make me want to get a PC. Almost. Apple, are you listening? You could take some style cues from Iameco!
Readers: What other examples of green computers are you seeing out there? What can we learn from them, to improve other machines? Who has a good take back program?
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. His overarching talent is “bottom lining” complex ideas, in a way that is understandable and accessible to a variety of audiences, internal and external to a company.