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Shopping for a new television? T ...

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:02pm

Shopping for a new television? There are several things to look for when incorporating green practices into your television purchase.

Things to Consider:
Size:
Broadly speaking, the larger the TV, the more power it consumes. Regardless of the kind of TV you have (plasma, LCD etc..) If you’re really looking for giant images, projection screens are actually more eco-friendly then you would think. Consider downsizing your television size needs, or opt for a movie-style viewing system.

Chemicals:
Avoid toxic components, including flame retardants known as deca-brominated diphenyl ethers (deca-BDEs) which can be released from TVs onto surrounding surfaces where they may be inhaled. Look for electronics made in flame-retardant products (Toshiba and NEC are leaders in this field). In addition, all Sony and Panasonic products are PBDE-free! Samsung and Sharp, two other popular television manufacturers, do not add flame retardants; however there may be remnants of the materials in the recycled plastic used in making new products.

Consumers should also be sure to avoid heavy and neurotoxic metals such as lead and mercury as well as carcinogenic chromium and cadmium. All of these can eventually leach into the environment when machines end up in landfills.

What to Look for:
The quickest way to pick an energy-saving television is to opt for a small screen, preferably a liquid crystal display (LCD) since these not only consume less electricity, they also contain less lead than cathode ray tubes (CRTs). If you’re looking for ratings of energy consumption, you should note that Energy Star only checks consumption rates when the TV is in standby mode. For more accurate consumption metrics check current CNET energy use ratings.

Some Good Models to Consider:

Philips’ Flat TV 42″ – “Eco TV”, about $1,399;

Sharp ’s 20-inch LC-20B8U-S LCD, about $650;

Viewsonic ’s 32-inch N3250W LCD, about $945; and

Panasonic ’s PT-AE900U projector, about $2,300;

Overall, start thinking smaller when it comes to televisions, and make sure to avoid harmful chemicals!

Happy watching.

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