Eco-friendly, green gadgets are quickly becoming a staple in the gadget world. No one wants a car, computer, MP3 player or even lightbulb that runs on last century's "green technologies." In fact, many energy conscious consumers have started tracking their energy use with gadgets like the Wattson, a sleek and chic tracking device that enables you to learn about your own personal energy use through interactive play. And designers are even creating gadgets made from their own packaging. Amid the growth of eco products, Greenpeace has released the third edition of its Electronics Guide, which looks at electronics manufacturers' policies and practices and their impact on the environment.
It doesn't include any specific consumer tips, but it does help consumers gain some insight into what companies have in store and how they address green gadgetry. For a look at which companies showed improvement,
"Our Green Electronics Guide ranks leading mobile and PC manufacturers on their global policies and practice on eliminating harmful chemicals and on taking responsibility for their products once they are discarded by consumers," says Greenpeace. "Companies are ranked on information that is publicly available and communications/clarifications with the companies." Leo is gonna be so proud!
Greenpeace's Top Rankers
Lenovo - The most improved: from last place to first. Progress on all criteria but loses points for not having products free of the worst chemicals on the market yet.
Nokia - Good on all criteria, but needs clear timeline for PVC phase out for all applications. Needs to better report on how many discarded mobiles it recycles.
Sony Ericsson - The first to set 2008 as its deadline to put on the market products free of the worst chemicals. Some products are already greener, but needs better takeback reporting.
Dell - Still among the top but loses points for not having models free of the worst chemicals. Strong support for takeback. Samsung - Moving up the rank and gaining points for takeback policies. But its take back system is not yet global and needs improvement.
Motorola - Loses points for not providing clear timelines for phase out of worst chemicals.
Geenpeace's Low Rankers
Sony - Some models without the worst chemicals, but loses a penalty point for inconsistent takeback policies.
LGE - In free-fall: it loses a penalty point for inconsistent takeback policies. But scores points for providing a mobile free of the worst chemicals.
Panasonic - Slipping down for failing to keep up with the movement of all the other companies. No commitment to eliminate the worst chemicals, and poor on takeback.
Apple - Holding firmly in last place: low scores on almost all criteria and no progress.