EcoLogo: Canada's Green Electronics Standards
Seriously, they can make electronics out of soybeans and hemp nowadays.
Would you rather carry around a digital audio player full of lead, cadmium, and persistent bio-accumulative toxins (PBTs) or one made of soy-based plastics and biodegradable materials?
Yes, we know that "everything" around us can make us sick, and for many people that's just a side effect of living in the Information Age. And besides, most of the time we have no way of knowing what's in the devices we buy and how nasty it is or isn't, right?
That's where standards and labeling systems like EcoLogo come in.
EcoLogo is a widely recognized and respected environmental certification mark which takes into account a variety of environmental factors and effects. It primarily targets professional buyers from the public sector and large corporations, with the intention of allowing such issues as life-cycle, cost, and environmental attractiveness to be reflected in the labeling of the product.
As such, EcoLogo is not limited solely to electronics. It has Certification Criteria Documents (CCDs) defining the requirements for products and services in over 300 different categories, ranging from automotive anticorrosion chemicals to printing services to home electronics.
By choosing environmentally responsible electronics equipment (like Energy Star rated appliances) and other products, individuals and organizations have a powerful tool to make their spending speak to their philosophies and make a real difference.
Traditionally, it isn't an easy task to locate environmentally benign products, and it's hard to be sure that they can be trusted.
By making clear the environmental aspects of a product or service, the EcoLogo program allows consumers and business to purchase products and services that reflect a philosophy of environmentally responsibility.
By shifting these purchasing dollars (often significant amounts from public sector organizations and large corporations) towards environmentally responsible products and services, the entire marketplace can move toward a cleaner and more sustainable paradigm.
The EcoLogo program is owned by the Government of Canada, and it is a founding member of the Global EcoLabelling Network, which attempts to standardize and implement EcoLogo-style environmental labeling worldwide, allowing consumers and businesses to understand the environmental impacts of their purchases and thus make the best decisions for themselves and the planet.
Since not all of the devices on our "must-have" list are EcoLogo compliant, it's a good idea to learn about Electronics Recycling so that you keep toxic chemicals out of the air and water, even if you can't avoid having them inside of your latest gadget.