I just bought a greener, faster, cheaper, Mac laptop with twice the storage and longer battery life!

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jun 8, 2009
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Whoot, whoot! The just-announced-today new line of Mac laptops are greener, faster, cheaper, with a longer battery life, brighter screens and more functionability. And just in time—I’ve been unable to type on my old, valiant, battered and cracked 17″ MacBook Pro for the better part of the last couple weeks, which has reduced my bloggability and our traffic. 

green laptop apple

With thanks to my grandma, for lending me the dough so I can get some work done, and an unnamed Apple buddy for buying the laptop (I got a smaller, cheaper version than my old 17″incher) at modest discount for me on the first day that it’s available, and thanks to Apple itself for caring enough to green-up its line—getting rid of mercury, PVC and other bad stuff (see below for much more info).

Now I gotta find an external “green” case or cover or bag (or walk my “green” talk and keep using my tatter black hemp Timbuk2 backpack with built-in case).


Green info via Apple (we’ll include third-party reports as soon as we find ’em):

The new MacBook Pro embodies Apple’s continuing environmental progress. It is designed with the following features to reduce environmental impact:

  • Arsenic-free display glass
  • BFR-free
  • Mercury-free LED-backlit display
  • PVC-free internal cables
  • Highly recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure
  • Reduced packaging volume
  • Meets ENERGY STAR Version 5.0 requirements
  • Rated EPEAT Gold

Many harmful toxins eliminated.

Apple has worked hard to eliminate many of the toxins that are a common part of notebook manufacturing. Take, for example, the mercury used in CCFL backlights and the arsenic contained in the glass of traditional LCD displays. Apple engineers removed both by choosing mercury-free LED technology and arsenic-free glass. They also removed brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from circuit boards, internal cables, connectors, insulators, shock mounts, adhesives, and more. Apple has removed these toxins from all new MacBook Pro notebooks, and we’ve done the same for the new MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini; Apple LED Cinema Display; and the iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, and iPhone 3G.

Highly recyclable.

MacBook Pro notebooks use a precision unibody enclosure that is formed from a single piece of solid, recyclable aluminum, replacing dozens of parts. The display is made of recyclable glass. Both materials are very desirable to recyclers, which means the raw materials used in the new MacBook Pro can be reused in other products.

Reduced packaging.

The new MacBook Pro packaging is 41, 37, and 34 percent smaller (13-, 15-, and 17-inch, respectively) than the original MacBook and MacBook Pro packaging. And smaller boxes are much better for the planet. Because smaller boxes mean we can fit more boxes on each shipping pallet. Which means more products fit on each boat and plane. Which means fewer boats and planes are used, resulting in fewer CO2 emissions. It’s one seemingly minor change. But it has a major positive impact on our environment.

More energy efficient.

Because Apple makes both the hardware and the software for MacBook Pro, we are able to design them to work together. This allows us to make a smarter product that uses less electricity. For instance, to reduce energy consumption, the MacBook Pro hard drive spins down automatically when inactive. MacBook Pro also decides which processor — CPU or GPU — is best suited to efficiently perform a task. The processor even throttles down to save power between keystrokes as you type. The LED-backlit display in the MacBook Pro is another feature that plays an important part in conserving energy, consuming 30 percent less power than conventional LCD displays. And the display is designed to dim when you enter a darkened room. Together, these adjustments make all three MacBook Pro notebooks much more energy efficient. In fact, they can run on about one-third the power of a single lightbulb.

MacBook Pro meets the stringent low power requirements set by the EPA, giving it ENERGY STAR certification. MacBook Pro also meets the latest efficiency requirements of ENERGY STAR Version 5.0 Specification for Computers before its July 2009 effective date. ENERGY STAR 5.0 sets significantly higher efficiency limits for power supplies and aggressive limits for the computer’s typical annual power consumption.


Every MacBook Pro model has earned the highest rating of EPEAT Gold. The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEAT, evaluates the environmental impact of a product based on how recyclable it is, how much energy it uses, and how it’s designed and manufactured. Few products achieve EPEAT Gold status — and even fewer notebooks.

Longer-lasting battery.

The removable batteries in most notebooks are designed to be replaced every year or two, which means lots of batteries are used up and discarded. But the battery in the new MacBook Pro lasts up to five years — or 1000 recharges. So it uses just one battery in the same time a typical notebook uses three.*

A commitment that starts with products.

When it comes to being environmentally friendly, Apple approaches the challenge differently — through products like the new MacBook Pro. Unlike other companies, Apple controls every aspect of the production of its computers. So Apple designers and engineers can minimize their carbon footprint in ways others can’t. They design them with fewer parts. They build them using recyclable materials. They even create software that makes them more energy efficient. The result is a new standard for green design.

Read about Apple’s environmental commitment in the Apple 2008 Environmental Update

green mac apple laptop


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


23 Responses to “I just bought a greener, faster, cheaper, Mac laptop with twice the storage and longer battery life!”

  1. Todd says:

    Problem is that the new Macbook batteries aren't replaceable, which means replacing the whole laptop when the battery dies… and where will the old laptops end up?? This doesn't seem to eco to me, once again, Apple seems to be doing a lot of greenwashing and not much real greening! http://www.tuaw.com/2009/01/06/new-17-inch-macboo

  2. Dan Schmidt says:

    The 13 and 15 inch unibody macs have do indeed have user replaceable batteries, the 17 inch battery can be replaced but only by apple as far.

  3. Dan Schmidt says:

    ok so i just noticed the line-up was updated today and all the models feature built-in batteries.

  4. francois says:

    From Apple's website:
    "The built-in battery design results in less waste and depleted batteries can be replaced for $129 or $179, which includes installation and disposal of your old battery in an environmentally responsible manner."

    Not cheap true, but definitely no need to replace the whole laptop.

  5. Francois says:

    More about the battery:

    On a single charge, the battery in the new MacBook Pro lasts up to 7 hours (8 hours on the 17-inch MacBook Pro)1 and can be recharged up to 1000 times.2 That’s compared with only 200 to 300 times for typical notebooks. Advanced chemistry and Adaptive Charging allows the battery to maintain charging capabilities longer and determines the optimal way to charge the battery’s cells. Because the battery lasts up to five years, MacBook Pro uses just one battery in the same time a typical notebook uses three. That makes for less waste. And that, in turn, makes for one environmentally friendly battery."

  6. Todd says:

    Make that "their" not "there." Dammit, I hate it when I do that. ;-p

  7. […] Read the original: I just bought a new MacBook Pro, whoot! | elephant journal […]

  8. (Green) High Horse says:

    No offense, but will you listen to yourself??? You MUST have just bought one these and gave in to rhetoric, or, you are a Mac employee. There is what is advertised, then what is real… Show mw ANYTHING from Mac which has followed through with the sales pitch with integrity.
    Additionally. I believe my Mac, now 4 years old was then said to hold a charge for up to 7 hours. This was true for the better part of a year… Then it began to diminish….
    Quoting text from the website about their hot new product, shows consumer naivety, not consumer consciousness!!
    Just sayin…

  9. Uh…good points, but all computers are made, shipped, etc…so we're comparing how green computers are to one another, not how green they are compared to sitting in a dark cave somewhere. If you're doing business and living and networking in today's world, you're likely using a computer. So the "green" question is, which is best? That's what I'm trying to address.

    As many environmentalists say, don't make "perfect" the enemy of "good."

  10. Comments from FB. Some are repetitious bc the writers were kind enough to repost (thanks, Todd!) in this forum.

    Todd Mayville at 5:30pm June 8
    Except that their batteries aren't replaceable, which means a whole new laptop every few years (or sooner), and where does the old one go? Not too eco, if you ask me!

    Eric Abramson at 5:45pm June 8
    not replaceable by the user was my understanding. Like the current MBP 17"

    Kyna Saam Katz at 6:38pm June 8
    why would they do that??? geez.

    Todd Mayville at 9:00pm June 8
    Great way to make $$… even if it can be replaced, you end up taking it to an Apple store and paying a tech to do it, meanwhile you're out of your computer until they can get it back to you. I'm less and less a fan of Apple these days.

    Kyna Saam Katz at 9:05pm June 8
    yeah sounds a bit strange ..i have never had a moment's trouble with my macbook though…and being a filmmaker geek, would never use a pc.

    Waylon Hart Lewis at 10:50am June 9
    I think batteries last 5 years, Apple is far greener Todd than before when you apparently liked them more, and they're greener than most other computer cos as far as I can tell.

  11. Oh, and these comptuers are cheaper than before, btw. Considering that I used my last laptop every day for three years, it's probably one of the best dollar per use ratios of any product I've ever bought, including this morning's Americano or so-called cheap goods at Wal Mart that externalize costs and wind up in the dump within a year…Apple offers a better deal than just about anything except for my bike, which is far cheaper and something I also use everyday.

  12. "I'll stick to my PC… there are plenty of environmentally friendly PC companies doing what Apple does (or better) for a lot less money."

    Prove it. Write an article detailing green qualities of Dell or other!

  13. "Show mw ANYTHING from Mac which has followed through with the sales pitch with integrity."

    I've owned Apples since 2000 and have never been disappointed, personally-speaking. Rather, I've been continually impressed.

  14. Todd says:

    Okey doke! Time for some research… article to come! 😀

  15. Tony Howard says:

    Nice discussion. I remembered Greenpeace giving Dell props and slighting Mac a few years back for Green initiatives. But it looks like Mac has followed through a little more than Dell. Check this: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/press-center/releas

  16. tashi says:


    I like waylon's enthusiasm… too bad this is all so political….

    sending warm wishes to everyone involved to manage frustration at being satisfied by materialism in a direct, healthy way.


  17. Hilarious discussion.

    As an enterprise user who has recently made the transition from windows to mac, i am crystal clear that i will never again by anything that runs on windows.

    I have run servers, desktops and laptops on both configurations, and there is absolutely no question that mac's are simpler to use, easier to maintain and more enjoyable to work on. They require less maintenance, and, from every mac user i know, are more likely to be used for longer than the average pc, and more likely to be repurposed as opposed to junked than the average pc.

    Window's machines require constant maintenance, require constant updates and patching and use a far more bloated and power hungry operating system than macs.

    I am definitely NOT a mac fanboy. I have a logical relationship with IT based around performance for investment. Despite the higher up front costs for the machines, my operation has not only increased in productivity, but i have eliminated the need for ongoing technical support (for both hardware and software) and have a team who are infinitely happier working on machines that, quite simply, just work.

  18. […] much of the industry in getting eco-responsible. We’ve covered their efforts from time to time, time and time […]

  19. […] we don’t even pay any attention (we’re too busy sipping maté and tapping away at our MacBooks while arguing about Gladwell or Pollan’s latest piece at our favorite local indie café, then […]

  20. […] got chills watching the video below (on a green-ish Apple laptop, while wearing stylee prAna hemp pants [Made in China] with an American Apparel shirt […]

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