The Natural Resources Defense Council is helping turn Black Friday green with its annual guide to shopping for environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient electronics. In a blog post on the NRDC website, senior scientist and Center for Energy Efficiency Director Noah Horowitz points out three easy steps to green your gadget gifts: only buy models with the ENERGY STAR stamp of approval, eliminate vampire power when the device is not in use, and properly recycle old units so they don’t end up in toxic landfills.
“The typical U.S. household already contains about 25 gadgets that consume 10 to 15 percent of your annual electricity bill. So choosing the most efficient models can substantially reduce home energy costs,” writes Horowitz. “The impact can be national, too, in lowering energy bills by several billion dollars per year while preventing the release of millions of tons of carbon dioxide, the main pollutant responsible for climate change, from the power plants that run these devices.”
Examples of tips include avoiding streaming movies through video game consoles like PlayStation® 3 or Xbox 360 because they require up to 30 times more energy to play a movie then using an Internet-ready TV; and using power-management settings on your computer instead of screensavers, which use more energy.
Recommended green gadgets to help increase energy efficiency include a Kill-a-Watt meter that measures how much energy each device uses both when turned on and when turned off, rechargeable batteries, smart power strips that automatically power down peripheral devices when you turn off your TV or computer and LED light bulbs.
With the old electronics, NRDC recommends reusing or reselling what you can, and recycling the rest.