Which notebook would you rather buy as a consumer, one that comes home with oodles of styrofoam and cardboard and plastic. Or one that ditches the cardboard altogether and even comes with its own messenger bag for you to carry it home in?
Both Hewlett-Packard and Walmart are hoping that consumers will vote with their wallet for the latter model, the HP Pavilion dv6929 Entertainment Notebook, an EPEAT Silver-rated system that carries a list price of $798. The systems are available in the retailer's roughly 1,700 Walmart stores and 594 Sam's Club locations. If you have an old computer that you want to turn in when you buy it, the store will handle the recycling for free. The promotion will run through October; HP will conduct an environmental awareness survey with customers who register the notebook.
Here's a photo of the notebook IN the bag:
The Pavilion bundle came about because of Walmart's Home Entertainment Design Challenge. Dana Harrold, HP's consumer notebook product manager, says the systems ship to the stores in the messenger bags, three notebooks to each master carton, and will be displayed in their bags. HP figures that the reduction in waste for the HP customer walking out the door is about 97 percent. For the entire supply chain, the reduction is about 65 percent because of HP's certification within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay surface transport system, Harrold says. The messenger bag itself is made out of 100 percent recycled fibers.
HP isn't the only high-tech vendor stepping up its efforts to rethink technology packaging. In late August, Olympus Imaging America said it will introduce new packaging this fall with will cut out 70 percent of the plastic from its audio products packaging and 80 percent of the plastic for its xD-Picture Card. Over a year, the amount of plastic saved will be about 83 tons, according to the company. The company is converting to paperboard that is printed with soy and vegetable inks. Here's some more information.
Linksys, a division of Cisco Systems, also has made some retail packaging changes that are starting to show up on store shelves. Among the modifications, Linksys has eliminated an outer sleeve that is used to cover with product information. Instead, that information will be printed right on the box, using vegetable and soy inks. The boxes have been shrunk down and all the packaging and product documentation is now being printed on paper that contains 80 percent recycled content. Linksys is trying to eliminate plastic bags wherever possible. The changes apply to the WRT310N, WRT160N, WRT610N, WRT110 and WRTT54GS products.
Incidentally, Linksys also has made a concerted effort to switch to using router power supplies that are Energy Star-certified and that about half (maybe a little bit more) the power that the previous generation used to eat up.