If you are still scrambling to find last minute gifts, it’s pretty safe to say that electronics will be one of the main items on your list. But did you know that by gifting someone a fancy new flat screen TV, you could also be giving them years of high energy bills and contributing to environmental destruction? Here are some tips on finding the safest, greenest products:
- Computers: Buy laptops. Desktops use more energy and raw materials than laptops, making them less attractive not only from an aesthetic, but also an environmental standpoint.
- Televisions: LED TVs are your best choice. Plasma TVs used to be less efficient than LCDs, but they have caught up in terms of energy usage. The main goal here is to buy a TV that meets your needs (i.e. not a 60 inch monstrosity for your tiny 10×10 living room) that is ENERGY STAR rated.
- Cell Phones: Does your phone’s charger suck up energy when it’s not being used? Many manufactures will not disclose charger standby energy usage. Additionally, there have been quite a few scandals within the supply chain at popular companies like Apple, so do your research before purchasing.
- Re-gifting an unused electronic product from last year is a great way to stay eco-friendly. Just make sure it hasn’t been recalled by using the handy Items I Own tool from We Make It Safer. Enter some information, such as the brand, on electronics you own and the system will check for the last 10 years of recalls. Once you’re sure the gift is safe, go ahead and pass it on.
Check out this video from GoodGuide founder Dara O’Rourke for additional tips: