Eco-Friendly? Depends On Who Says So

Technology companies do not have one standard on which to base appraisals of how “green” they are.

 

In the race to be green and technologically relevant, both consumer electronic brands and consumers are going out of the way to sell or buy energy-conserving products. Major league players such as AT&T and Apple are either highlighting their eco-friendly practices or making more eco-friendly decisions. Last fall, AT&T unveiled a line of $30 texting phones that are built with “70% recycled post-consumer plastics and packaged in 80% recycled post-consumer paper,” according to USA Today reporter, Edward C. Baig. Apple, which has been environmentally conscious for a while, has pointing out that their Mac computers are arsenic and PVC-free and meet EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) gold standards.┬áSmaller companies such as ThinkEco have emerged with devices that help decrease the amount of energy consumed by current electronics.

Although these companies are focused on creating more eco-friendly products, some experts are hesitant to say that these attempts are “green” enough. The standards of a eco-friendly device are measured differently depending on the company. For example, EPEAT Gold standards differ from Energy Star’s guidelines. Steven Castle, co-founder of GreenTech Advocates, worries, “how green can you be if you’re going to run out and buy an iPhone 5 so soon after the iPhone 4?” In other words, the tech market is constantly innovating new products that the environment is still being harmed regardless of these green practices.

[via USA Today]

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