Our Environmental Impact Rating for Televisions is based on a product's Consumption and Toxicity Ratings (see below), manufacturing location and manufacturer's commitment(s) to environmental stewardship (see Television Buying Guide for details).
The higher the Environmental Impact Rating, the lesser the environmental impact of the television relative to others within the category. Data is gathered from Greenpeace.
Our Consumption Rating for Televisions is based on a product's annual electricity consumption measured in kilowatt hours relative to other products within the category. The higher the Consumption Rating, the more energy-efficient the television.
Our Toxicity Rating for Televisions factors-in the product manufacturer's commitment to remove and/or phase out the use of toxic substances in their products and to help reduce the amount of e-waste placed in landfills or exported to foreign countries.
The higher the Toxicity Rating, the less toxic the television product and more committed its manufacturer is to phasing-out and eliminating toxins from their products; taking-back their products to reuse and/or properly dispose of; and using recycled material in their products whenever possible. Data is gathered from Greenpeace.
Our Lifecycle Cost Rating for Televisions is based on a product’s cost of ownership, including its purchase price and cost of operation (energy costs), relative to others within the category (assuming average ownership of a television is approximately 6 years). The higher the Lifecycle Cost Rating, the more cost-effective the product.
Our Price Rating for Televisions is based on a product’s purchase price relative to that of others within the category. The higher the Price Rating, the better (lower) the price of the product.
The average cost to operate a television ranges from $25 to upwards of $100 in electricity per year, depending primarily on screen size, technology type, and picture settings.
An ENERGY STAR qualified liquid crystal display (LCD) television with a small screen size is the most energy efficient option and contains less lead than traditional cathode ray tubes (CRTs).
LCDs consume the same amount of power whether they are displaying a dark or a light scene because their primary light source - the backlight or bulb - is essentially always running at maximum power. Plasma screens are generally the most power hungry.
Market trends for 2009 in the television electronics industry indicate that prices of sets will continue to fall while they continue to get more energy-efficient and less toxic. Using a variety of technological tweaks, manufacturers are achieving substantial power savings with no sacrifice in performance and picture quality. Sony's OLED-screen TVs (which save energy by using a technology that, unlike LCDs, does not require a backlight) and Mitsubishi's LaserVue (a system based on lasers that uses half the energy of LCDs) are moving toward mass commercialization. Manufactures are also making strides in the toxicity department by reducing the use of chemicals like brominated ﬂame retardants (BFR) in their products.
► Stay tuned to Eco-rate as we update our television product category with new Eco-TV models.
Earning the ENERGY STAR label means a product meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. For TVs, it means they save energy both in standby and active (when they're on) modes.
ENERGY STAR qualified TVs use about 30% less energy than standard units. ENERGY STAR requires power consumption of less than 1 watt in standby to qualify. You can find the ENERGY STAR on everything from standard TVs, to HD-ready TVs, to the largest flat-screen plasma TVs.
TVs use power even when they're not turned on. So that the TV is ready to respond to the remote in an instant, all sets use what is called "phantom" or standby power. In general, newer models consume negligible power when turned off. ENERGY STAR requires power consumption of less than 1 watt in standby to qualify.
► All TVs featured on Eco-rate are ENERGY STAR qualified.
As one would expect, the larger the TV, the more power it consumes regardless of the kind of TV you have (plasma, LCD, etc.). If you want large images, projection screens are the more energy-efficient option.
Televisions may contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC), brominated ﬂame retardants (BFRs), phthalates, beryllium - including alloys and compounds - and antimony/antimony compounds. These are toxic substances that are extremely harmful to humans and the natural environment.
► Eco-rate's Toxicity Rating for televisions factors-in the product manufacturer's commitment to remove and/or phase out the use of the aforementioned toxic substances, and to help reduce the amount of e-waste placed in landfills or exported to foreign countries. The higher the Toxicity Rating, the less toxic the television product and more committed its manufacturer is to phasing-out and eliminating toxins from their products; taking back their products to reuse and/or properly dispose of material; and using recycled material wherever possible.
To reduce carbon emissions associated with product transportation and to support your local economy, we encourage you to buy your television from a local manufacturer.
► Use Eco-rate to discover how far a television has to travel from its manufacturing location to your home.
Every year, an estimated 400 million units of obsolete electronics, including televisions, are scrapped. Four billion pounds of electronic waste ("e-waste") was discarded in the United States in 2005 alone, accounting for between 2% and 4% of the municipal solid waste stream. As much as 87.5% of this was incinerated or dumped in landfills. Of the remaining 12.5% collected for “recycling”, industry sources claim that about 80% is exported to developing countries where it is processed in unregulated conditions, severely endangering the environment, workers and communities. Pollution created by irresponsible e-waste processing can also come back to haunt those in the exporting countries in the form of air pollution fallout via long-range transport.
To mitigate the amounts and toxicity of e-waste, organizations around the world are banning the use of high levels of the toxins in electronic products. In 2006, the European Union (EU) enforced the ROHS Directive which bans placing electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, etc.
Also enforced by the EU in 2006 was the Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which requires manufacturers to take back their electronic products after their useful life (other countries including Japan, Taiwan and Korea have taken similar action). Also known as "take-back programs", these measures force designers to plan the construction of products in such a way that make the reuse and recycling of them more cost-effective for the manufacturer. It also forces designers to find ways around the implementation of toxic chemicals in a product’s construction. Ultimately, when manufacturers are required to take back their e-waste, they make better products, with longer life spans and with less toxic material.
Unfortunately, the United States is still far behind the EU and other aforementioned countries in this respect. Only recently (August 2008) has the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report acknowledging the need for reform. Nothing has moved through Congress to date however.
Yes! You can buy your television from a responsible manufacturer using Eco-rate. Our Environmental Impact and Toxicity Ratings for televisions factor-in how well featured brands/manufacturers are rated according to Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics. Products with high Environmental Impact and Toxicity Ratings have a manufacturer that is committed to phasing-out and eliminating toxins from their products; taking back their products to reuse and/or properly dispose of material; and using recycled material wherever possible.
The e-Stewards recyclers are a group of leading North American electronics recyclers and asset managers who have been qualified as upholding the highest standard of environmental and social responsibility. We urge you to make use of these recyclers for all of your e-waste disposal and recycling needs and beware other recyclers claiming to be “green” and responsible.
Dispose of your television responsibly by contacting an organization near you that has signed the Electronic Recycler's Pledge of True Stewardship commitment. Click here to view the list.
Please click here to discover our television rating system.
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