Sustainability in use of personal electronics

Vertatique's Personal e-Green: reduction of energy, waste, and carbon
in our purchase, use, and disposal of personal electronics

How Long Do We Keep Our Devices?

It is difficult to get reliable data on how long we hold onto the 24 billion edge devices attached to the global ICT infrastructure. Diverse device types and cultural practices complicate the issue. So do changing purchase and lease plans. Here is our latest calculation on the average in-service life of a mobile device.

Finding the Greenest Office Equipment

Many of the Green ICT certification and registration sites cover categories of office equipment other than the major ones for which we publish separate articles. (See list to the right.) We just added remanufactured toner cartridges, telephone systems, and multiple outlet strips.

Apple TV 4K Environmental Specs

The Apple TV set-top box (STB), which I own, has always been very energy efficient. It is consistently at top the of EPA's ENERGY STAR STB ratings.

The newest Apple TV, the "4K" model, is not yet in the ENERGY STAR database, so we don't know if new features affected the box's power consumption. Apple does prove the following information in its tech specs:

Finding the Greenest Set-top Boxes

The US ENERGY STAR program looks only at energy efficiency and not other sustainability factors. Eleven set-top boxes (STBs) four manufacturers came in at less than 44W or less in the program's Total Energy Consumption (TEC) metric. The absence this time of several manufacturers who had previously registered models under 30W makes this a shorter list. Apple TV* is by far and away the most efficient, helped by its very low stand-by power consumption.

Finding the Greenest Computer Monitors and Projectors

There are hundreds of green-certified computer displays available. Here is how to find the most sustainable displays, including projectors, listed by international certification services.

Finding the Greenest Desktops

A survey of programs in the United States and Europe shows that there has been little change in the number of certified models since 2015. Desktops, workstations, and related configurations are not a growth market, so it is a positive sign that manufacturers are still certifying their current products.

Finding the Greenest Mobile Phones

Resources for responsible phone purchasing have changed significantly, compared to our 2014 survey. Here is what is currently available, including an important new resource from EPEAT and UL.

EPA's SMM Electronics Challenge

The United States Environmental Protection Agency's Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge "encourages electronics manufacturers, brand owners and retailers to strive to send 100 percent of the used electronics they collect from the public, businesses and within their own organizations to third-party certified electronics refurbishers and recyclers." ICT companies have performed well in the Challenge.

How Green is Wearable Tech?

We raised questions about the GreenICT implications of wearable technology four years ago. There seems to have been little effort made by wearable tech creators since then to address sustainability issue. A recent article from battery recycler Call2Recycle again sounds the warning.

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