Buy a laptop, but spare the environment

I recently purchased a laptop from a reputed store in Pune. They quoted a reasonable price and after a bit of prodding gave some more discount (yes, haggling is possible everywhere and must be done.) As a (wannabe!) environment crusader, I am always appalled to see the amount of packaging that goes into electronic products. Actually it has reduced over the years – especially since the big companies have realized the eco-unfriendly nature of packaging. So the laptop itself did not have too much of it. The appalling part was the “accessory-kit” that came “free” with the laptop. First of all, the kit is not really free as they charged Rs. 500+ for it on the bill. Same is true about the laptop bag too. I'm sure one has a choice to not purchase the bag & kit both. That should get you a further discount of about Rs. 1500.

Sample accessories

The main point however is the junk that they pass off in the kit - laptop sleeve, external speakers, mouse, an extension cord, flimsy stuff that looks like a mousepad and screen guard and god knows what other stuff. We think we are getting a great deal with all these freebies, but they are really third-rate products. The extension cord for example has a plug too small for any standard 3-pin outlet. External speakers produce weird sound. All this comes in plastics bags and all sorts of packaging. Imagine all the green house gases that were produced to make these products and further to transport them from China! And since they are useless, they'll either lie around or go to a landfill or maybe recycled. Question is why buy them in the first place!!

Lesson learned: Next time when buying something, I must put my foot down and say “just give me the actual product and nothing more”. Even if it's really free, the accompanying junk is just not worth it. It's much better to buy only those accessories that you really need.

So by rejecting the “free” junk, you can:

  • Save some money
  • Get good quality accessories that you actually need
  • Make Gaia happy (the real bottomline!)

I think this makes sense, in the long run...

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