Our laptops are some of the most powerful and portable modes of communication and change. Yet with technology's 2 years-then-obsolete cycle, the e-waste poses a problem. So Autodesk challenged students at Stanford's ME3 program to develop a recyclable laptop in 9 months. The result? An awesome, modular laptop that kicks the "design for the grave" theory highlighted in The Story of Electronics to the curb, for good. Read below the jump to learn how!
The end result was the Bloom Recyclable Laptop. It can be unassembled without tools in under 30 seconds. That's faster than it takes a lot of computers to start up! They even made the keyboard and mouse detachable so they can be removed and used anywhere in the room, and hopefully reused the next time around. The best part about the recycling? They utilized products that can be recycled in your home's recycling bin, so no special trips are needed to keep these items out of the waste stream.
So why has it taken so long to develop a consumer-friendly recyclable laptop? Because all of the items that require special recycling like LCD screens and the hard drive are mixed in with the other components. This is what Annie Leonard calls "Designed for the Grave," where things that have the potential to be reused or recycled are buried underneath other items that keep them from entering the reuse cycle again.
What is the impact of this accomplishment? Other than being downright awesome, it can help increase the rate of electronic recycling from a measly 5% to something truly outstanding. And for those other non-recyclable parts, there is always E-waste Wildlife to keep them contained and entertaining.
(Images: takomabibelot (c) on Flickr)