A Greener Apple: iPad Includes Eco-Friendly Features

The world finally got its first glimpse of the newest gadget in town, the iPad.  Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs, unveiled the new tablet computer earlier this week in San Francisco.

Weighing less than two pounds, the iPad is less than 10 inches tall and is only half an inch thick.  But besides its super-sleek design and advanced technologies, the iPad also includes several eco-friendly features as well.

iPad Green Features:

  • The iPad includes arsenic-free display glass, mercury-free LCD display and is free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
  • The tablet also includes recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure.
  • Its long battery life allows users to surf, listen to tunes or watch videos for up to 10 hours on a single charge.  The 25Whr rechargeable lithium-polymer built-in battery can be recharged up to 1,000 times.
  • For those interested in environmentally-friendly electronic books, the iPad is also an e-book reader.  Apple’s new application, iBooks, is available for download from the Apple App Store. And even better – the app is free

The iPad retails for $499 on up and will roll out in March, 2010.

A Greener Apple

Other green initiatives at Apple include:

  • Apple’s popular Recycling Program recycles computers, mobile phones and displays regardless of manufacturer. Bring in an older iPod model to an Apple Retail Store, and receive a 10 percent discount on a newer model. Old Mac batteries will also be recycled for free.  In 2008, 33 million pounds of electronic waste was recycled by the company.  Over 83 million pounds of equipment have been diverted from landfills since 1994.
  • Every day, nearly 600 employees take part in Apple’s employee commuter program by riding the free biodiesel commuter coaches to and from work.
  • Since 2006, energy-efficient lighting and motion sensors for automatic shutoffs have saved over 2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.
  • Apple also uses less material in its products by making them smaller, lighter and thinner. For example, the 20-inch iMac uses 55 percent less than the 1998 15-inch model.
  • Packaging has also been reduced. Due to a 40 percent reduction in packaging between 2006 and 2009, 50 percent more boxes were shipped in each airline’s shipping container.
  • And according to the company website, Apple is the “only company in the industry whose entire desktop and notebook product lines meet the strict energy efficiency requirements set by the EPA’s Energy Star Program.”

We highlighted the work of Steve Jobs in a recent post about sustainable CEOs. But Apple doesn’t have the cleanest track record in sustainability circles. Greenpeace ran a campaign in 2007 that urged Apple to reduce its use of hazardous materials–to which Apple responded with a concerted effort to do so, and to lessen its overall footprint. But the firm again raised the ire of some watchdogs with its recent rejection of shareholder resolutions aimed at greater sustainability reporting.


Jace is the Internet Feature Writer for Suite101 and is the Holidays and Working Moms Examiner for Examiner.com. She is a regular contributor for Energy Boom, EcoWorldly and PlanetSave. She particularly enjoys writing about unusual and downright wacky environmental stories and issues plaguing wildlife and animals.Besides writing, Jace is also passionate about online safety and issues concerning children. As an Internet Safety educator, she teaches online safety and technology to 600 elementary-aged children every week for her local school district.Jace has two children who are both in college and is also mom to a slew of pets.

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