Get Greener Electronics With Greenpeace's Guide

Image courtesy of Greenpeace.
Recently my troublesome laptop, which had repeatedly caused me problems since its purchase, decided to stop working -- about two weeks after the 2-year warranty expired, of course. I could have lobbied the company to fix it anyway, but since it had been a source of repeated frustration, I decided to recycle it and buy a new laptop.

After scouring reputable review sites, I found a reasonably-priced model that was highly recommended ... and then I remembered Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics and checked the ranking of the company that made the laptop. I discovered that that particular company was one of the lowest ranked for "green" policies and products. So I went back to my research and found a greener choice that was almost as highly recommended.

When it comes to purchasing electronics, we citizens can to look to the practices and products of the companies themselves to find choices that do more good and less harm, and Greenpeace's latest Guide to Greener Electronics is an important tool that can help. Since 2006 Greenpeace has been ranking electronics companies "on policies and practices to reduce their impact on the climate, produce greener products, and make their operations more sustainable."

Unfortunately, the electronics industry has a long way to go before it can be truly healthy, just, and sustainable, but several companies have been stepping up their efforts to be greener. HP tops the list this time (but only with a score of 5.9 out of 10). The report looks at 13 criteria over three categories: Energy and Climate, Greener Products, and Sustainable Operations.

The guide does have it limitations, and it doesn't include criteria such as how a manufacturer's workers are treated, but for those of us looking for additional information on which companies are striving for greener practices and products, it's quite useful.

Since companies are always tweaking their practices and products, they tend to move up and down in the rankings. Be sure to check out the next edition of the guide when it comes out in Fall 2012 to see which companies have made positive progress.

~ Marsha

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