Release: Green School Guide helps back-to-school shopping parents avoid ‘expired’ laptops

Media Contacts

Since we published this update, Google has committed to extend the life of Chromebooks! Learn more about the victory here.

For immediate release:
Monday, August 14, 2023

Lucas Rockett Gutterman, Designed to Last Campaign Director, 347-466-9947, [email protected]
Mark Morgenstein, Media Relations Director, 678-427-1671, [email protected]

NEW YORK — Back-to-school shoppers don’t expect the new laptop they bought online to have an “expiration date.” Yet, U.S. PIRG Education Fund found eight Google Chromebooks that are no longer eligible for tech support available for sale on Amazon. This lack of support could render them vulnerable to attacks and unable to access secure state testing websites. The new Green School Guide’s section on Chromebooks helps parents, teachers and schools save money and the environment by highlighting laptops designed to last.

“It’s hard for parents doing back-to-school shopping to make environmentally friendly choices, especially when so many electronics are unsustainable,” said Lucas Rockett Gutterman, Designed to Last campaign director with U.S. PIRG Education Fund. “Our Green Schools Guide helps parents and teachers avoid buying ‘new’ Chromebooks that have already ‘expired.’”

The Green School Guide’s section on Chromebooks helps parents and teachers check the expiration date of laptops to ensure they’re getting a good deal, before they click “add to cart.” Longer-lasting laptops help the environment and save money. An April report, “Chromebook Churn,” found that by doubling the lifespan of these popular computers across all students in the U.S., it could cut emissions equivalent to taking 900,000 cars off the road for a year and save schools $1.8 billion dollars, assuming no additional maintenance costs.

The guide also urges parents to join 10,000 petition signers telling Google to extend the life of Chromebooks. A June letter from parents and environmentalists asked Google to extend their “death dates” to help students and prevent e-waste. This summer, Google has let 13 models “expire,” but the company could still restore updates to these laptops that otherwise work. Google could also extend support for the 51 models set to expire next summer.

U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Green School Guide also suggests ways that schools, parents, and teachers can reduce emissions and pollution from transportation and electricity, stop using toxic substances, waste less food and extend the life of school supplies.