The Aluminum Mac Brick...Is It Green?

11/15/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Apple continues to channel its green image, but is seems as though eco-friendly concerns remain secondary to company's first priority: aesthetics. The new .5 pound MacBook Air, for example, is cut from a single 2.5 pound aluminum brick, resulting in a remarkably lithe - and light - laptop, but is the process environmentally sound?

Treehugger's Jaymi Heimbuch reports:

It seems that this process allows the MacBook Pro to use 50% fewer parts. In the manufacturing stage, they start with a 2.5 pound piece of aluminum. The end structure is only 0.5 pounds (for the MacBook Air). That means that 2 pounds of aluminum is cut away.

Nevertheless, it looks like this process, despite flaws, has some real improvements for the notebook in the big picture of its lifetime and total footprint."

Hank Green over at EcoGeek, however, suggests that the unibody construction isn't green after all. Especially in consideration of the fact that his relatively old-school white plastic MacBook requires far less energy to produce.

I'm glad to see Apple focusing on the efficiency of their computers, not to mention decreasing the amount of toxic materials they contain. But this new carved-brick process isn't green, it's wasteful, and I'm happy to be sticking with my good-ol' plastic clunker.

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