Greener Gadgets 2010: Can A Gadget Be Green? EPEAT and the Politics of Eco-Friendly Electronics Explained (Video)
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Can gadgets be green? Will consumers care if they are or not? What even is a green gadget? We've been watching EPEAT grow up over the last few years, coming to a place of prominence in the consumer electronics industry. The rating system for electronics dishes out bronze, silver or gold ratings to products registered by manufacturers. While still used for a small segment of electronics and by a small segment of consumers - primarily governments - it is growing to encompass more devices and has begun to reach out to consumers as a way to make purchasing decisions. Greener Gadgets offered me the chance to interview EPEAT's executive director, Jeff Omelchuck, about EPEAT and the role of electronics in a sustainable world. Here's what he had to say.
Recently, EPEAT partnered with Amazon.com, and in the near future, the organization will relaunch itself as a more consumer-friendly entity. As Jeff says in the interview, if we want greener gadgets, we have to buy them, since that's the only way manufacturers will see that they have to produce sustainably made devices. Yet, there is the continuing dilemma, since the greenest gadget is the one you already own. Is it possible to have a sustainable planet and all our electronic toys? EPEAT is working hard to provide a "yes" answer...but it's a complex and conflicted issue.
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