Every product has a life cycle that consists of three major phases. The first begins with the idea for the product and ends with a completed design for its manufacture. The second consists of manufacturing the product. The third is the delivery to and use of the product by the ultimate user until the product is ready for disposal. During each phase of the life cycle, decisions are made that affect the product's environmental impact.
An increasingly significant factor is the impact the product has on the environment. This has become important in recent years for two major reasons: (1) government rules and regulations and (2) increased public concern about how products they use impact the environment.
When creating a new product, the designer has to consider several factors. Among the most important are the product's appeal to the end user, the cost to manufacturer, durability, safety, and ease of use. Until recently, computers and related products were designed with no consideration given to the product's impact on the environment. Motherboards are covered with heavy metals and toxic materials and CRT monitors are full of lead, mercury, and other toxic materials. Cost and performance have been the major concerns of computer designers since the beginning of the industry.
Was this article helpful?