Well, last month my laptop died. (RIP dear XPS, my beloved refurbished computer!) Not a pleasant experience if I want to keep this blog going, so I’ve resorted to borrowing my husband’s laptop in the meanwhile (and it’s not easy when he needs to keep borrowing it back!).
So he has finally said it’s time for Mom Goes Green to get a new computer of my very own. Enter dilemma: laptop vs. desktop.
I did my research, because I also want to make the greenest choice, and here is what I found:
- Laptops use considerably less energy than desktop computers. In some cases, the savings are somewhere between 50-80% less, depending on the model. Energy savings = environmental choice. (winner: laptop)
- Laptops have batteries, so they can actually utilize their own stored energy for use. (winner: laptop)
- Laptops are considerable smaller than desktops therefore, when it comes time for disposal, there is less electronic “waste” and fewer parts to be recycled. (winner: laptop)
- The parts contained within laptops are harder to recycle and refurbish than desktop computer parts. (winner: desktop)
- Desktops typically last longer than laptops since laptops are more fragile and the mobility-factor often means a greater likelihood of damage and a shorter life. Laptops are also more expensive to repair (e.g. $500 bucks to fix mine… augh!) and are therefore more likely to get discarded more frequently. (winner: desktop)
- The toxic materials in desktops are much less than those in laptops (due to the batteries and other materials contained within the computer) so laptop disposal means more polluting toxins. (winner: desktop)
So there you have it. As I see it, it’s a wash. Choose what suits your needs. There is no real environmental choice (unless you “go computer-less!”… something that’s unlikely for any of us!).