A lot of the deepest environmental thinking is that we have to move away from the idea of purchasing consumer products and instead keep “ownership” with the maker, who is responsible for minimizing the environmental footprint of the product and for dealing with it when the user is ready to move to another one.

In other words, we should pay for the services we want (computing, hot water, power, cool air, comfortable office floors, etc.) rather than the devices used to provide those services (PCs, tankless heaters, electricity, air conditioners, office carpets); that way, we’re not invested in less-efficient devices. As soon as the old ones wear out, we shift to new ones, and the service provider has to deal with the decisions about upgrading or handling and reusing the material wastes.

There’s an outfit that seems to get the concept, selling a small(tiny)-footprint PC with all the bells and whistles, radically reduced power consumption (assuming you don’t use a power-hog monitor), and extended producer responsibility for the device.

Given how fast people go through PCs, this is a great idea — much more affordable, and upgradeable, and with far less environmental consequence.

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I especially like the flash memory feature rather than the hard drive, the source of most computer problems.

If I had a student going into high school or college, this is definitely the PC I would be looking at closely.

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