Greenpeace: Don’t Buy a Hewlett Packard

29 07 2009
From: Treehugger, 2009

From: Treehugger, 2009

Greenpeace was at work this morning with its usual public displays of environmental justice. This time, the culprit is HP. The Environmental Organization climbed onto the computer company’s roof and painted ‘Hazardous Products’ in enormous letters covering about 11 500 square feet. Greenpeace is pretty upset that the company has backtracked on its environmental policies by postponing their phase out of PVC plastics (Polyvinyl Chloride – the base of this plastic is  carcinogenic and explosive) and BFRs (Brominated Flame Retardants –  chemical flame retardants that are sometimes toxic and have a resistance to degredation in the environment). While some might say that these materials are necessary in the production of computers, that simply isn’t true, and is proved by the fact that Apple Inc., Dell, Lenovo, and Acer have all produced computers without these materials. For more information on what computers to buy, you can get some help from Greenpeace’s Guide to Green Electronics. When making your next purchase, you should also consider the recycling programs available.

I would like to emphasize though, that HP has stated it will be releasing a laptop entirely free of these chemicals this september, and plans to have all of its computer PVC/BFR free by 2011. Green peace is simply upset because HP originally scheduled to phase these toxins out of their products earlier.

So, will painting words on HP’s roof make them act in the name of the environment? I seriously doubt it. But, thats probably not what Greenpeace is going for. The point is publicity. How many people will respond to this message and either shoot an angry email to HP or simply make their opinion known with their wallet next time they purchase a computer? Who knows, all I can say for now though is when shopping for a new computer, don’t just lo0ok into the performance and fancy styles you can get, have a look at the environmental impact of that machine. It’s far larger than you think.




2 responses

30 07 2009
Sebastian Schmoranz

So, hello Tyler and whomever else helps you with this website….

Just thought I’d get in my first comment….

So I went to your page thinking I’d give it a look… and a fair chance. You started off well…. the article about the Senator was hilarious and slightly frightening. But then I scroll down and I see an article about Green Peace. Let’s all be honest for 5 minutes here… only the most hard core of hard core hippies endorse anything that Green Peace does.

Quite frankly, I don’t even think this constitutes as “Non-Headline News”, it’s more of an interest group endorsement article. I’m sure if anyone took the time to look deep into what ANY of the world’s main computer manufacturers do in terms of their environmental footprint, their collective “tree-hugging” jaws would drop to the floor.

I think what you’re doing with this website is very important and significant because there are a great many news-worthy stories fall by the wayside due to the sheer number of articles published every day. But do me a favour and make sure they are actually worthy of consideration. Just a thought…

30 07 2009
Tyler Bradt


While Greenpeace’s current ‘campaigns’ are questionable, you can’t deny the fact that they have become the most widely known and one of the most successful environmental organizations on the planet. The grassroots, shooting around in little dingy antics of the 70s and 80s helped in battling the whaling industry in Russia, as well as atmospheric nuclear tests in the United States and France. Greenpeace is taken very seriously by many people, granted it’s somewhat less so now than in the past. They still conduct an enormous amount of research that would likely not be done if it were not for them. Yes their views are biased (who’s aren’t?), but they don’t lie. The environmental impact of the computer industry is enormous. The point here, is that while the other companies I’ve noted are pushing to lower their impact (sometimes even moving dates forward), HP has pushed its deadline further into the future. That is a bit of news that not many people know.

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