Greener Gadgets

January 4, 2009

I passed by Apple’s flagship store in New York on my way to Central Park on New Year’s Day. The number of people entering and leaving the building through its large, high glass square that covers a set of stairs down to the underground body of the store itself made it look like an amusement park ride.

The store was so packed I did not touch even one device – they were all in the hands of people – but I was interested to see a sign subtly advertising the environmental design of the new macbook pro. The design includes a recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure, and has eliminated toxic substances from component parts including mercury, arsenic, and PVC, and meets Energy Star requirements. Apple’s four-fold environmental policy focuses on reducing its carbon footprint, product design, materials, and energy efficiency.

A “greener gadgets” movement is bubbling through the design community at large, represented by green design competitions, the 2009 second annual Greener Gadgets conference, and new initiatives of sustainably focused designers like the Designers Accord.

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