Your Guide to Ethical Computer Shopping

You buy everything else really responsibly. Why not your computer?
Publish date:
September 22, 2011
computers, apple, sustainability, laptop, taking things seriously

So your hard drive has crashed. Don't freak out! Freaking out will just make people say things about zip drives that will make you feel violent. Instead, get ready to go revisit the exciting world of electronics shopping.

But wait! Before you buy any old computer, remember that it's a major purchase, and it's important to be as responsible when purchasing a notebook as you would be with produce or gym wear. Here's a handy guide that you can pri-- that you can write on a piece of paper or your hand and take to the store.Responsible RefuseFirst things first: Be sure to dispose of your old computer in the proper way. If you're shopping for a new laptop, it's either because you had a PC that died on you, or you have a perfectly functioning MacBook that you really loved and are just ready for a newer, cooler Mac. Because, as any Apple enthusiast will tell you, MacBooks don't crash or die, ever. If you're disposing of a Mac, build a traditional Viking pyre out of fragrant sandalwood and immolate it somewhere bucolic while a musician friend plays one of Chopin's etudes. If you have a PC, throw that piece of shit into the ocean so a fish can make a house out of it.Go LocavoreTry to make sure that the beef jerky you're shoving into your mouth while stress eating is grass-fed and comes from local producers.Reuse, Recycle, RenewBreak the cycle of consumerism by buying pre-owned. Sometimes you can find a great deal on a slightly used computer on Craigslist or eBay, like if the mob has robbed a truck full or laptops and is selling them at a cut rate, or if an old person's grandson needs drug money.Stimulate the EconomyBuying from an individual or wholesaler may be cheaper in the short run, but it won't do much to get us out of this recession! Go to a huge retailer like Best Buy. See if you can access Craigslist or eBay from one of their computers, and buy your computer from one of those drug money grandsons. Hopefully, somebody will see you walk into the Best Buy, and invest money in Best Buy. Shop PreparedEven if you don't want a MacBook (which, your funeral) go to an Apple Store, so you can say you went to the Apple Store when irritating friends ask you later if you've been to the Apple Store. Try going at 3:30 pm on a Wednesday, when everybody else is at work and only 400 people or so will be in the Apple Store. Two hundred of them will be employees, but they will somehow all be very busy and unable to help you. The iPad Specialist won't be busy, but he is literally not allowed to speak to you about anything but iPads, even on his own time, which is very stressful for his girlfriend and parents. Don't make eye contact with him, as he will take it as a sign of aggression. Make an appointment to speak with a MacBook Specialist and then go to the food court for an hour to stress-eat bourbon chicken samples, which is technically freeganism. Go back to the Apple Store and stand at the Genius Bar while you wait for somebody to talk to you. Get bourbon chicken glaze on as many surfaces as possible.Be GreenPaper bags are bad for the environment. Bring your own cloth bag to breathe into when you have a panic attack in the goddamn motherfucking Apple Store.SweatshopsAsk where the tiny people who live inside your computer are from and if they are paid a fair wage. Animal TestingEven if you are really good at computers, ask if the computer is so easy to use that a monkey could use it. Demand that to see pictures of an actual monkey using it, preferably an orangutan wearing lipstick. Hee hee hee, an orangutan wearing lipstick.

Responsible JournalismRethink pretending to be a computer reporter with New Or Even Slightly Used Computers Weekly to try and get a free computer. This is not very ethical.NPRListen to a lot of it on your way to your dad's house where you will have dinner with him for the first time in weeks. Casually mention that your hard drive has crashed. Summon a memory from the Apple Store if it allows you to cry. When your dad wearily asks you if he can "help out" with your new computer, remind him to buy responsibly.You are a conscientious shopper.