Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Buzz is Green

I’m sure you’ve heard the word “green” more times than usual over the past few months. No, I’m not referring a big, lovable animated creature called Shrek, but rather the continuing focus on environmentally-friendly products and initiatives. Although the “green” phenomenon is appearing everywhere, from car manufacturers, to celebrity rants, and even grocery stores (I saw “green” toilet paper last night!), it is also finding a huge presence in the consumer electronics industry.

Sharp Canada, for example, is running a contest that will afford one lucky entrant who does the most to reduce his environmental impact a 52-inch Sharp AQUOS LCD TV. The manufacturer even labels its new factory in Japan “Super Green”, because it employs practices to reduce such things as electrical power use and Co2 emissions.

Another company that’s big on “green” is HP: the firm has been actively running a recycling program for two decades, and as a result, has recycled more than 920 million pounds of hardware and print cartridges globally from more than 40 countries, regions, and territories around the world! HP’s goal is to reach one-billion cumulative pounds by the end of 2007.

Cell phone manufacturers are even joining the pack. In March, Telus Mobility promised to plant a tree for every customer who signed up for online billing and canceled his paper bill; or for anyone who came into a Telus store or authorized dealer before May 30 with the company’s weekend newspaper insert. Meanwhile, Bell Mobility recently announced a partnership with the WWF Canada to donate one dollar to the Fund for every mobile phone or PDA returned through its Mobile Take-Back Program. Collected phones are either refurbished for re-use, or dismantled and recycled.

Other organizations are also helping to make the world a greener place. Computation Ltd. (, which has locations in both Toronto, ON and Montreal, QC, runs drop-off locations for unwanted PC equipment, which is then recycled. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation ( also works to promote the recycling of used portable rechargeable batteries and old cell phones. The RBRC’s even managed to snag a celebrity spokesperson: Tim “the Toolman” Taylor’s own sidekick Al from the old sitcom Home Improvement (Richard Karn)!

Energy Star and RoHS compliancy has also become a highly-touted selling feature of many CE products, from notebook PCs to washing machines.

This is a great sign that we’re on the right track to a more environmentally-friendly and conscious society. Kudos to so many CE manufacturers for putting “green” initiatives on the forefront of product development.

Photo: HP has redesigned the North American packaging for its print cartridges as part of its ongoing efforts to help the environment. The firm says that the smaller and lighter packaging will result is an estimated 37 million points of reduced greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to taking 3,6000 cars off the road for one year.

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