Going Green with Electronics
Think you need to install expensive solar panels to your house and buy an electric car to go green? You can do these things if you can afford to, of course, but you can be green by making some simple changes with your electronics. Green electronics are now available around the world with energy efficient use and by being made using less chemicals and fossil fuels. But how can you find green electronics?
Look for electronics like televisions and computers that have the Energy Star sticker on them. This sticker means that these electronics will use less energy than the alternative. That’s good news for you because less energy use means less carbon footprint, which means less of a utility bill each month.
Another way to green up your TV and computer is to put them on power strips and turn off the strip when they are not in use. TV’s and their peripherals (DVD players, cable boxes, etc.) as well as computer peripherals go on standby mode when you turn them off. Standby mode is not off and is still sucking the electricity from your wall sockets. If they are on a power strip and the strip is off, then the electronics are off. Here’s a scary fact, on average 40% of the electricity used in the home is used by electronics on standby mode.
On smaller electronics like PDA’s, notebook computers, and even cell phones, look for the EPEAT sticker. EPEAT is the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, and means that the product has been assessed to be environmentally friendly. Either it uses less energy or it was made in an eco-friendly way, or both. EPEAT is more popular in Europe than in the United States right now, but it’s making its way into the hearts of green Americans. The more we ask for EPEAT, the quicker it will become as easy to find as Energy Star.
If you really want to make an impact on the environment, buy your electronics used or refurbished. Give them the long life they deserve and make sure that they don’t end up in a landfill somewhere.