Chips Ahoy … Ahoy, Ahoy
Think twice before you scrap that computer for the latest flat-screen iMac. Pound for pound, the average computer chip causes more harm to the environment than a car, according to a study by a team at the United Nations University in Tokyo. The researchers looked at all the materials (including chemicals and fossil fuels) required to transform raw quartz into a 32 MB memory chip that weighs two grams. They found that 1,400 grams of materials — 700 times the weight of the final product — were required to make a single chip. The materials involved in making a car typically weigh only twice as much as the vehicle. One of the researchers, Eric Williams, said, “The fact that one buys a new computer so quickly substantially increases the environmental impact of owning the device.”
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