Full Letter— Parents, environmentalists to Google: stop Chromebooks from expiring this summer

End of service for millions of school computers jeopardizes students’ educations


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

U.S. PIRG Education Fund
600 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20003

June 20, 2023

Google, Attn: John Solomon, VP ChromeOS
1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy
Mountain View, CA 94043

Dear Mr. Solomon, Vice-President and General Manager ChromeOS at Google:

We are writing to urge you to extend the life of the 13 Chromebook models which will reach their Automatic Update Expiration, and expire, in three months.

Especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread implementation of remote learning, school districts have looked for a budget laptop that they can buy en masse and then distribute to students to complete their work. In many cases, we have turned to Chromebooks. Unfortunately, Chromebooks fail too soon from a variety of software and hardware issues, and many schools now have piles of broken or expired Chromebooks. 

We want to teach students how to have a sustainable relationship with technology, where they gain digital literacy while also understanding how to take care of technology and avoid being wasteful. Chromebooks need to last longer and become easier to repair.

Chromebooks come with an Automatic Update Expiration date, after which software support ends. The lack of software support can block essential uses such as accessing state testing websites and make devices vulnerable. Google could extend the life of these models, most of which are still available for purchase online.

13 Chromebook models expiring this summer

Google isn’t solely responsible for the disposability treadmill that keeps us replacing our phones, laptops, tablets, and appliances with new products. However, your sustainability commitment to a circular economy states Google is, “constantly looking for new ways to build products, design out waste and pollution, and keep materials and resources in use for as long as possible.” In the United States, we generate about 6.9 million tons of e-waste each year which is equivalent to throwing out 120 Chromebooks every second. We can’t afford to keep replacing technology at the current rate. Google has the power to lead the industry towards a circular economy with longer lasting laptops

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing the great innovations in sustainability and longevity that we know Google and your manufacturing partners can accomplish.


K-12 professionals, environmentalists, consumer advocates, and 10,000 PIRG members

California Product Stewardship Council
Californians Against Waste
Center for Economic Justice
Consumer Association the Quality of Life-EKPIZO
Consumer Federation of America
Consumer Reports
Don’t Waste Durham
Environmental Action
Environment America
Evanston Repair Cafe
Fixit Clinic
Free Geek
Gardiner Repair Cafe
Hamilton Computer Repairs
Illinois Parent Teacher Association
Inland Ocean Coalition
Knowledge Ecology International
Latino Community Fund
National Stewardship Action Council
Parmalee PTA
Plastic Free Delaware
Plastic Ocean Project, Inc.
Post-Landfill Action Network
Repair Cafe
Repair Cafe & Too Good To Toss Community Swap
Repair Cafe Hudson Valley
Resilience Birthright Inc
Restart Project
Sustainable Hudson Valley
Tech Defenders
The Maintainers
Zero Waste Action – Sonoma County
Zero Waste San Diego/SD Fixit Clinic
Zero Waste Washington

Parents and educators:
Nancy Altman, Parent at Arlington Central
Stephanie Bennett, Archivist at Wake Forest University
Rebecca Caldwell, Marketing at North High DPS
Joshua Case, Teacher at Dumont Public Schools
Bridget Cessar, Parent at Brown International
Sharon Clapp, Librarian at CCSU
Matt Dodge, Sr. Manager, MyTech & Hardware Repair at Denver Public Schools
Paul Fedele, Instructor / Consultant / Open Source Developer
Liliana Gil, Lecturer at National University of Singapore
Angie Graef , Parent at Denver Public Schools
Linda Haas Manley, Instructor and Administrator at Dutchess Community College
Robert Hart, STEM/Makerspace Educator at City of PAE Library
Christina Johnson, Assistant Dean, middle school mom
Chris Johnston, IT Director at Hill Learning Center
Anne Jonas, Postdoctoral Research Associate at Michigan State University
John Kamal, Engineering Teacher at Science Leadership Academy
Kirsten Menking, Professor at Vassar College
Juris Milestone, Assistant Professor at Temple University
Laura Mulston , Parent at Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS)
Karen Nichols, Math/Science Dept Chair at Oakwood Friends School
Lorrie Odom, Co-chair, Health, Wellness, & Safety at Colorado Parent Teacher Association
Faye Park, 11th grade, 7th grade mom, Donors choose donor at Denver School of the Arts, Lakewood High School, Morey Middle School, Brown Elementary
Dorothy Parsons, Teacher Librarian / 1:Web Chromebook Coordinator at Louisville Middle School, Boulder Valley School District
Stephanie Ring, Parent at DSST Byers High School
Diana Spadafora, Parent at Huron Superior Catholic District School Board
Kelly Stainback-Tracy, Parent at Denver Public Schools
Joshua Tan, Professor at LaGuardia Community College (City University of New York)
Erika Taylor, Parent at Denver’s North High School
Ruth Tillman, Associate Librarian at Penn State University Libraries
Bonnie Turnbull, Board Trustee at Lake Tahoe Unified School District

Anna Alsobrook, Watershed Science and Policy Manager at MountainTrue
Steve Berl, Fixit Coach at Fixit Clinic
Bill Brown, Senior Project Designer at SEPTA
Kami Bruner, Waste Reduction Program Manager at Zero Waste Washington
Bailey Cunningham, Beyond Plastic Coordinator at University of Washington, WashPIRG Beyond Plastic
Tara de la Garza, Creative Director at Inventurous
Vivek Doshi, Senior Librarian and Inventory Manager at The Chicago Tool Library
Andrew Feland, IT Volunteer
Laura Forman, Volunteer at DCPPA
amy franz, Data Manager at Textile Exchange
Dean Gallea, Co-Chair at Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council
Maxwell Gordineer, Student at SUNY New Paltz
Tim Gould, Co-Chair at 43rd Democrats Environmental & Climate Caucus
Stéphane Guillou, Quality Assurance Analyst at The Document Foundation
Lisa Kaul, Concerned Citizen at Poughkeepsie
Joel Kirchartz, Technologist/Concerned Parent
Regina Klein, DCPAA
Matt Martin, Alderman at 47th Ward, Chicago
John Mirisch, Councilmember at City of Beverly Hills
Hilary Naylor, Tech Support at Ashby Village
Yoehan Oh, Ph.D. Student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Jill Padua, Organizer at Repair Cafe Tusten
Joy Scrogum, Sustainability Professional
Maitreyi Siruguri, Director for Educational Partnerships at Educational Assistance Ltd./ EALgreen
Christian Sweningsen, Member at Columbia County Environmental Management Council; Zero Waste Columbia
Nirvan West, Program Officer, Technical Engagement at Digitunity


Lucas Gutterman

Director, Designed to Last Campaign, U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Lucas leads PIRG’s Designed to Last campaign, fighting against obsolescence and e-waste and winning concrete policy changes that extend electronic consumer product lifespans and hold manufacturers accountable for forcing upgrades or disposal.