Typically, the greenest shopping choice is to work with what you’ve got. Why? Creating new products and transporting them to their point of sale expends a huge amount of energy. In fact, the actual production of a computer requires more resources and energy than will ever be used in the computer’s lifetime. Luckily, when it’s time to buy something new, you can look for labels and certifications that illustrate which products are the smarter choice.
Here are some resources to help you:
- Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) rates electronics with precious metal medallions. Those that meet all 23 required criteria earn bronze; electronics that meet all 23 required criteria plus at least 50% of the optional criteria are silver; and electronics that meet all 23 required criteria plus at least 75% of the optional criteria are ranked as gold.
- Energy Star qualified computers are, on average, 30% more efficient.
80 PLUS program also rates the energy efficiency of computers.