Long Overdue: Eco-labelling for Electronics

Here is a video from Blink Media Works intended to educate people on HP's Green Printing initiative. Having recently worked on a survey of printers to decide which is the greenest printer, I welcome this initiative with open arms. The current state of affairs leaves the potential buyer searching deep into the on-line user's manuals to find key information like does the printer has a toner save mode and how much power does the machine use in stand-by, sleep or printing modes. Forget about learning how much of the printer body is made from recycled plastic.

With the number of brands and range of printers within each brand, the hapless consumer is left totally confused. What is the cutting edge breakthrough that HP is introducing, and will it change the way we buy electronics?Any reader who follows TreeHugger knows this author is a big fan of transparent communication. Allowing free market mechanisms to regulate commerce is only as good as the consumers' knowledge about what they are "voting" for with their (currently dwindling) money.

HP is putting an ECO Highlights labels on "select" HP products. (Hint: don't buy the ones which have not been selected for an eco-label). (Second hint: to HP: Stop making printers that you are ashamed to label with an eco-footprint!)

The labels will help consumers understand the eco-footprint of the printer they are considering. Although the labels leave room for improvement, hopefully HP will start a race to the top in eco-labelling for electronics.

Additionally, HP pushes "smart printing": a method to avoid the junk that usually prints from web pages along with the desired content. And they are offering methods to promote cartridge recycling by drop-off at local businesses or by eays post-back methods. Key is that there is no cost to the consumer to recycle their cartridge waste.

Who's next? The race for environmentally sustainable electronics is on!

More on HP:
You Tube
HP Environment
HP Recycle
HP Steps Up IT Industry Transparency, Releases Supply Chain Emissions Data
HP First to Hit Gold Computing Standard
HP Wins Design for Recycling Award
1.1 Megawatt Solar Array Installed on HP Printer Factory

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