February 24, 2008
What shade of green? Consumer electronics marketers can talk about the environmental benefits of their gadgets until they're green in the face. Several organizations have attempted to apply standards to weed out the eco-gibberish and give consumers a shortcut by which to judge products. Here's a sample of the labels used to denote an eco-friendly product:
A voluntary program set up by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 to recognize energy-efficient products. The program started with computers and monitors but now covers more than 50 categories, including consumer electronics, lighting and office equipment. The guidelines, which cover energy savings during standby mode as well as when the device is in full use, vary by product.
Restriction of Hazardous Substances
A European Union directive that restricts the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and several fire retardants in consumer products. Though the directive is mandatory in EU member countries, it does not apply in the United States. Some products sold in the U.S., however, may advertise that they comply with the directive.
Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool
A guide by the Green Electronics Council to assess the environmental attributes of computers and monitors. EPEAT criteria weigh design, manufacturing, packaging, use, disassembly, recycling and disposal.
Certified products have power supplies that are much more efficient than standard power supplies.
Source: Times research
What shade of green?