Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step


March 4, 2006

Laptop Computer: Yes, It Does Matter

Category: Conservation,Household,Save Electricity,Technology,Tips – Tom Harrison – 2:28 pm

In Justifying a Laptop Computer I asserted that a laptop could be justified on energy savings grounds alone. Well, of course this is absurd … or is it?

Having a laptop replace a desktop and CRT monitor has been nothing but good, for me. The monitor was absolutely huge (even just a 19″ monitor) and took up most of my desk. Now, when I am done with my laptop I just close it ant my desk is clear. Hit the power button to hibernate at night. It’s all there, and simple, and fast, and I know it’s not using that much electricity because it runs for four hours on a battery alone. And, it’s nearly silent. And wireless is totally great.

Now there’s room on my desk for a power strip that I plug in a couple of vampire transformers so I can just flick one switch and avoid even further leeching of electricity.

Another remarkable and positive development: when I ordered the laptop, Dell offered a recycling kit which allows me to return my old computer (free) and have it picked up, responsibly, reused where possible and recycled efficiently otherwise. Monitor’s especially are bad news for the environment, so this seems like a nice service.

So I’m not trying to kid myself or anyone else; the total energy cost of making my laptop almost certainly will take years to recoup in energy savings from the reduced consumption. But, if it’s an alternative to a desktop, it’s a win.

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