Showing posts with label Apple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apple. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

50% Better Fuel Economy and 40% Lower Emissions

UPS is First in Delivery Industry to Test Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicles
Written by Nick Chambers

In partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency, UPS will begin testing a small fleet of hydraulic hybrid delivery trucks in the United States. The new vehicles can achieve 50-70% better fuel economy, a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and pay for their extra expense in less than 3 years.

UPS will field two hydraulic hybrids in Minneapolis, MN, in early 2009 and an additional five hydraulic hybrid trucks will be deployed later in 2009 and early 2010. Although this sounds like a tiny fleet, keep in mind that this is the largest scale commercial test of hydraulic hybrids ever conducted.

The UPS hybrid hydraulic truck is a standard-looking 24,000 pound package car, with an EPA-patented diesel series hydraulic hybrid drive attached to the rear axle.

In a series hydraulic hybrid, the conventional drivetrain is replaced with a hydraulic system that stores energy by compressing gas in a chamber using hydraulic fluid. It works in much the same way that a hybrid electric car does — a small, efficient motor generates power which gets stored for later use — only, the way energy is stored in a hydraulic hybrid is in a pressurized chamber rather than in a battery.

The hydraulic hybrid drivetrain eliminates the need for a conventional transmission and increases fuel economy in three ways:

A large amount of the energy that is otherwise wasted in braking can be recovered to pressurize the hydraulic fluid.
The engine operates much more efficiently — similar to a hybrid electric car, only without the bulky batteries
The engine can easily be shut off and instantaneously restarted during regular driving — such as when the vehicle is slowing down or stopped at a light.
UPS has been developing what it calls its “green fleet” over the last several years and currently has more than 1,600 low carbon emissions vehicles including electric, hybrid-electric, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and propane trucks.

Although this is a small step, I applaud UPS for testing the waters. Hopefully others will join in quickly.

Monday, July 28, 2008

An “Apple” a Day, Keeps Emissions at Bay

by Thomas Ward

If it hasn’t been made apparent by now that I am somewhat of a “computer geek” (see “Go, Go, Green Gadgets” and “Geeks Can Be Green, Too“). However, I have always found myself wondering just how “green” some of these computer companies really are. With this in mind, I began researching different computer companies and their environmental habits. First on my list, came Apple Computers. According to their Web site:

Apple takes pride in its history of innovation and thoughtful design. But technological leadership goes beyond what’s in the box. How we impact the environment is also important to us, and environmental considerations are an integral part of Apple’s business practices. From the earliest stages of product design through manufacturing, use, and recycling, we take care to keep our activities and our products environmentally sound.

At first glance, it would seem as though Apple was doing what is known as “greenwashing”, or claiming that a product is environmentally friendly (even if the production process is not). After taking a look at their A Greener Apple Web site, however, one will notice the many environmental actions that Apple has taken over the last few years. According to their site:

Apple became the first company in the computer industry to completely eliminate CRTs. The effect has been stunning — our first CRT-based iMac contained 484 grams of lead; our current third-generation LCD-based iMac contains less than 1 gram of lead.

As you may or may not know, lead is contained in most older cathode-ray tube computer monitors (the large, bulky kind). What you may not know, however, is that lead, is a poisonous metal that can damage nerve connections and cause blood and brain disorders. By eliminating lead from their products, Apple has been keeping this poisonous element out of or landfills and out of our homes.

What really impresses me, however, is the future plans that Apple has to further reduce their impact on the environment. Their products already meet the Restriction of Hazardous Substances restrictions on cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated flame retardants, and they have plans to completely eliminate the use of arsenic in all of its displays by the end of 2008. In addition, Apple plans to eventually eliminate the use of mercury by transitioning to LED backlighting for all displays.

In addition to the large number of chemicals Apple has eliminated from their products through the years, they have also implemented a recycling program for e-waste. According to the Web site:

Apple started recycling in 1994 and today we operate recycling programs in countries where more than 82% of all Macs and iPods are sold. By the end of this year, that figure will increase to 93%.

The best part of Apple’s recycling program is that none of the e-waste that is collected by Apple goes overseas for disposal. All of the waste that is collected is processed here in the United States, which cuts down on transportation costs, and lowers the company’s overall carbon footprint, making them an environmental leader in the computer industry.

I do not own an Apple computer, but I am highly impressed by even the small steps that Apple Computers have taken to make our planet a little greener. From designing their products under the requirements of programs such as Energy Star, to placing an emphasis on energy efficiency, Apple has set a good example that all computer companies should follow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Californias Top Enviromental Priority Legislation

SB 1625 (Corbett) Updating California's Bottle and Can Recycling Law
Summary. SB 1625 aims to update California's Bottle and Can Recycling Law by, among other measures, expanding the program to include all plastic bottles.

AB 2640 (Huffman) Compostable Organics Management
Summary. This bill is intended to promote the highest and best use of organic materials in California.

AB 2058 (Levine) Plastic Bag Reduction Benchmarks
Summary. Requires large groceries and pharmacies that distribute free plastic bags to meet phased plastic bag diversion and reduction benchmarks.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Take Action List

Used electronic devices, known as e-waste, are increasingly becoming a larger part of our waste. Fortunately, there are a number of options available to those who want to recycle their old electronic items.

To address the increasing amount of e-waste, many state and local governments, electronics manufacturers, and non-profit organizations have created comprehensive recycling programs. Several states, including California, Maine, Maryland, Texas and Washington, have even enacted laws requiring the collection of certain electronics.

E-waste recycling options vary across the country. So, the first step to determine what options are available in your area is to review information about your local recycling program. This information is available on Earth 911 (using the recycling locator database at the top of this page), some local government websites and the following websites:

E.P.A. Product Stewartship
National Recycling Coalition
E Recycling Central (includes a list of questions to ask recyclers)
Basel Action Network
Computer Take Back Campaign

In addition to “traditional” recycling programs, some electronics manufacturers and retailers also offer e-waste recycling. Many manufacturer-sponsored programs will accept and process their brand for free. Some accept other brands for a small fee.

After determining what options are available, it is important to determine whether a recycler is operating under strict environmental controls and high worker safety protections. A few general questions to ask include:

Is the recycler certified (such as an ISO 14001 environmental management certification) and does it follow a set of industry recognized guidelines?

Does the recycler actually recycle most of the e-waste materials collected (It is best if the company can recycle 90 percent or more of the materials)?

Does the recycler have written procedures for removing and disposing of mercury lamps in electronic products? Many manufacturer and government sponsored programs have extensive online information detailing the way in which recycling is handled.

In addition to choosing a recycler, it is also important to prepare your e-waste for recycling. For computer recycling, one important concern is to erase all data from the computer before sending it off for recycling.

However, this should be a factor regardless of what one does with an old computer because electronic data can be retrieved from hard drives. There are many options (such as software) to ensure that the data is permanently erased.

In fact, many recycling firms will scrub the hard drive and certify that all data has been erased. Before sending your computer to a recycler, check to verify that this option is available.
Manufacturer Specific Programs

Toshiba Trade-In and Recycling Program
Lenovo/IBM (will also accept other e-waste of other computer manufacturers)

Retailer Programs

Circuit City (Easy-trade in program)
Best Buy
Staples (accepts computers, monitors, laptops, and desktop printers, faxes and all-in-ones)
EPA Plug-In Partners (lists manufacturers, retailers and service providers that offer recycling of e-waste)


EPA–lists options for donating or recycling e-waste
Techsoup–lists non-profit organizations and recyclers of e-waste
Goodwill (some locations accept computers)–website includes tips on how to donate computers

Cell Phone Recycling/Donation

Motorola (accepts all brands for free)
Nokia (accepts all brands for free)
Call to Recycle
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (donation of cell phones)
Call to Protect
Verizon Wireless (accepts phones at Verizon stores)
AT&T Wireless (accepts phones at AT&T stores)
T-Mobile Wireless (accepts phones in stores and by mail)
Sprint Wireless (accepts phones in stores and by mail; recycling proceeds go to charity)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Greenest laptop ever?

New Mac greenest laptop ever?

Apple (Cupertino, California) Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs recently unveiled the new MacBook Air, the company's entry into the ultra-light laptop computer niche market. The new computer features an all-aluminum case, which Jobs noted is one of the most recyclable materials on the market, and the company's first mercury-free display device made with arsenic-free glass. The MacBook Air has primarily bromide- and PVC-free circuit boards, and the packaging is 56-percent smaller than current MacBook models. The new laptop computer also meets Energy Star 4.0 standards and has attained a Silver EPEAT rating. Greenpeace (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), however, is not so impressed. "Apple is getting greener, but not green enough," Rick Hind, legislative director of Greenpeace's toxics campaign, told Wired magazine (San Francisco). "The Macbook Air has less toxic PVC plastic and less toxic BFRs; but, it could have zero, and that would make Apple an eco-leader," he added.

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