America is on the brink of one of the biggest shopping days of the year. While many of us look for creative ways to avoid this rampant consumption, the fact remains that a large portion of technology purchases are made during the holidays. While we may not be able to eliminate this shopping frenzy entirely, there are ways to reduce its negative impact on our planet.
EPEAT, one of the largest global registries for greener electronics, recently released its 6th annual report detailing the benefit of purchasing products that meet its strict environmental criteria. Results showed that demand for EPEAT rated products, both here in the U.S. and around the world, continues to grow, resulting in a significant reduction of hazardous solid waste and energy consumption.Among many positive results listed in the report, EPEAT found that in 2011, more than 120 million registered products were sold in 42 covered countries - a nearly 30 percent increase over 2010 sales. International unit sales of EPEAT rated electronics grew by 40 percent in 2011, with purchasers in Europe, Asia and Latin America showing the largest increases in demand. Sales of EPEAT products in the US grew by 23 percent – with US unit sales just over 50 percent of the 2011 global total. In addition, the number of unique products registered in the system grew by 800, from 2,830 to 3,671.
Thanks to greater awareness about the importance of green electronics, this shift in global demand will catalyze chance in our environment as well. EPEAT estimates:
- savings of over 12 billion kWh of electricity—enough to power 963,716 US homes for a year;
- avoidance of 9 million metric tons of air emissions (including greenhouse gas emissions) and over 77 thousand metric tons of water pollutant emissions, and
- reduction of over 2.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions— equivalent to taking nearly 1.6 million US passenger cars off the road for a year
EPEAT’s 2011 Environmental Benefits Report, the report Executive Summary and an Infographic summarizing the findings are available here.