Now that I've found an answer I'd like to request that How can I determine the ecological impact of a computer? is reopened. I hope that my answer, in addition to the one already there, demonstrates the validity of the question.

My answer is basically that environmental impact can be measured by energy efficiency, as defined by Climate Saver Computing, Energy Star and 80 PLUS. (Of course, there may be other answers and other organisations.)

I included examples of environmental factors to clarify what kind of question I was asking. Perhaps I should remove the phrase "What other factors need to be considered?"

  • You should buy the book Slhck posted. That will answer your question and more.
    – surfasb
    Oct 4, 2011 at 1:38

4 Answers 4


Perhaps I should remove the phrase "What other factors need to be considered?"

Yes. I have to say it's a bit broad. If you can imagine an entire book written about your question, it probably is.

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However, it seems you've found the answer you wanted, and if you include references (such as those you mentioned), and elaborate a bit, that should be no problem. This is not a subjective question, nor is it off-topic (as Daniel mentioned, it is computer hardware), and it can be answered given specific expertise.

Voted to reopen.


Not all of your question is on-topic on this site.

While I'd say that e.g.

  • What toxic/unsafe materials are commonly used in computers?
  • How do I determine whether there are toxic/unsafe materials in my hardware?
  • What do all these environmental quality labels mean, e.g. Energy Star? Do they have any meaning?
  • How do I measure/compare energy consumption?

are on topic, the parts that relate to the creation of hardware aren't as clear: While software questions are generally on topic, programming (i.e. creation of software) isn't.

In that sense, your question includes quite a few off-topic parts, and was probably closed for that reason.

  • 1
    Nevertheless, I support your petition for reopening. It's an interesting question with enough good on-topic parts. Nothing a bit of editing can't fix.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Oct 3, 2011 at 8:12

Power use is just one aspect, but its one that has been asked before i believe there was a previous question that involved power use specifically

This is unrelated but would be part of a wider answer talking about power use as well.

I'm not sure there's a 'right' answer for this, which makes it somewhat subjective to me, bit i wouldn't VTC it if it gets reopened.


The question has now been reopened after 5 votes were placed for it.

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