Refurbished iMacs - the greener option?

MacKing Blog

The ghost of Christmas present

Most of us are spending this winter of discontent wandering around the house in more clothes than usual. Many people I know have switched off their energy smart meters and are bracing themselves for eye watering fuel bills, and when we do brace ourselves to go out to the shops we're surrounded by a communal mimed muttering chorus of 'how much??!!'. In short, we're all a bit broke one way or another. I admit that the reality isn't that festive, but speak as I find. To compound things, when we find ourselves crushed between the twin retail battering rams that are Black Friday and Christmas, we're prone to persuade ourselves that a sparkly new bit of kit will....erm...cheer us up. Perhaps a new M2 laden desktop Mac will fly you to the moon (and away from the crushing news cycle). Or perhaps not. Maybe we'll all just have to cheer up and carry on carrying on. Ho ho ho!

Some say that in the current global economic crisis, we simply have to sideline greener options for the time being and pull ourselves out of the mud first. I say precisely the opposite. We all have to rethink how we use all of our resources and leave the single use/disposable mindset where it belongs - in the last century. Squeeze every bit of life out of what we already have before we consign it to the recycling. That includes computers. Bombarded by retail, we all have to differentiate between want and need.

If this all sounds like a rant - well it is. A plea for common sense.

What was the question again?

'How can I reduce e-waste when buying a new iMac?' Simples. Don't.

A refurbished iMac may well completely fulfil all of your needs and more. You may even have enough cash left over to pay some of your next Leccy bill.

I haven't finished ranting - lets go back to want and need.

Why do you need a new iMac?

The usual answer is that your last one has died. All things must pass, and computers are no different. However, Macs do last longer than Windows machines (that's a fact, Donald). They're simply better made, and more crucially better maintained via Apple's software updates. Before you decide that your iMac has expired, go and do a bit of digging on the net - I've fixed many 'dead' Macs over the years that had software conflicts, no HD space, defective memory etc, and have come back from the grave fighting. Around 50% of machines I've worked on have survived and gone on to provide good service.

Assuming that your Mac is a goner though, the next stage is harder.

Don't believe your eyes

You need to replace your iMac. Those ads for the brand new 24" iMac are making you reach for your credit card because, yes, they do look lovely. The first banner that currently comes up on the Apple site is 'You've never seen a computer like this before'. See what they did there? The fact that it's super slim and relaxing green won't help with your next spreadsheet, it's appealing to want. Hands up, they are super fast, but do you need super fast? Is, say a 2015 iMac really slow then?

Question everything. Don't make the decision with your eyes or heart). Follow the logic.