2008 - [Sustainable Concepts] Energy Star TVs and Green Gifts
2008, vol. 69
Welcome to the December 2008 newsletter from Design Forward.
Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.
Quote of the Month: "We shall require a substantially
new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive."
Lisa A. Swan
ENERGY STAR Television Specifications
by Richard Harris
Flat screen televisions deliver dazzling pictures, but
they also consume huge amounts of electricity. Some
big TV sets can use more electricity than a refrigerator,
even ones that meet the government's newly revised "Energy
Star" efficiency standard.
If you're shopping for a new dishwasher, you can read
that yellow "energy guide" label to figure out how much
electricity it'll consume. No such luck if you're shopping
for a new wide-screen TV. While certain TVs do have
the Energy Star efficiency sticker, some experts say
even that has been misleading.
"Energy Star was woefully behind on TVs. In order to
earn the Energy Star label, it only dealt with how much
power did the TV consume when it was off," says Noah
Horowitz of the Natural Resource Defense Council.
New Energy Star Ratings
Now, for the first time, the Energy Star ratings measure
the power that TVs use while they're actually on. But
an Energy Star listing alone doesn't mean the TV uses
less power. It only indicates that the TV is relatively
efficient - within its class.
For example, when measured with a wattmeter, the high-end
Pioneer Elite, a 50-inch plasma TV, idles at about 390
watts. That's like turning on 30 compact fluorescent
light bulbs all at once. And if you assume that the
set will be on for five hours a day, the set consumes
a lot more electricity than a typical refrigerator.
When the TV is in a slightly dimmer, energy-saving mode,
it only uses 300 watts, which matches its Energy Star
Still, your friendly neighborhood coal-burning power
plant would emit a half-ton of carbon dioxide every
year to keep this one TV on for five hours a day - and
that's in energy-saving mode.
For comparison, the 32-inch LCD in its brightest setting
pulled about 115 watts. That's the equivalent of about
two incandescent light bulbs or nine or 10 compact fluorescent
In part, this TV consumes less because it is smaller,
but it also has an LCD screen - technology that is typically
more efficient than a plasma screen, like the first
on "New ENERGY STAR Television Specifications" on Lisa's
Article © NPR
Green to Save Green
Just in time to help the cash-strapped and eco-inclined
this holiday season, TreeHugger.com offer an array of
affordable, eco-friendly gifts, recommendations and
TreeHugger.com's annual gift guide returns with "Give
Green to Save Green," offering suggestions of more than
100 unique gift options designed to help the planet
as well as bottom lines.
TreeHugger's "Give Green to Save Green" (http://www.treehugger.com/giftguide/)
gift guide presents a broad range of affordable options
for spreading holiday cheer which come with the added
benefit of reducing impact to the environment. The average
American's trash output is 25 percent higher between
Thanksgiving and the New Year, and household expenses
are on the rise this winter. TreeHugger's timely holiday
guide shows that choosing sustainable gifts can help
to lessen both waste and financial strain. The "Give
Green to Save Green" gift guide contains gift solutions
in easy to follow categories including: Green Geek,
Foodie, Fashion Buff, Wee-Hugger, Outdoors Enthusiast,
The Health Nut, and more.
With items ranging from DIY natural gum and candy kits
(Glee, $13) and energy-efficient earthen cookware (La
Bamba, $58) to body care products in 'plantable' packaging
(Pangea Organics, $40) and great gifts for gadget junkies
(home power monitor, $99), TreeHugger's gift selections
are as thoughtful to their lucky recipients as they
are to the earth.
on this article on Lisa's Blog
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