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Published on January 24th, 2008 | by Stephanie Evans


Green Home Technology

As personal technology gets smaller, it becomes a bigger part of our lives.  In the average home, technology can be found in just about every room.  Just because we are technophiles doesn’t mean we can’t live sustainable lifestyles—there are ways to green technology in the home to help reduce our carbon footprint and still enjoy a 42 inch television screen . . .

When greening your home technology, keep in mind a few things before you buy a new electronic device.

  • First, look for the ENERGY STAR label.  These devices have been certified by the U.S. Government to exceed federal standards for energy efficiency.
  • Also look for less toxic components.  Elements such as lead, mercury, and cadmium pepper the essential constituents to many home electronics, and these toxic elements have wound up in landfills and trash heaps all over the world.  To reduce this problem, Europe has instituted a Restriction on Hazardous Substances.  Search for companies that adhere to RoHS standards for the piece of mind that they contain less toxic material.

Once you have purchased your new electronics, don’t throw your old ones in the trash!  The toxic elements mentioned earlier can cause tremendous problems if they are thrown in a landfill.  Over time these toxins will seep into the groundwater and can pollute nearby lakes and streams.  Recycle your old electronics or call your solid waste authority to schedule a pickup of these devices.

If you are not purchasing anything new but still want to green your technology, look at how it is connected to the home’s outlet.  If you leave electronics plugged directly into a wall outlet, they are most likely slowly draining electricity.  It is estimated that up to 40 percent of electricity used by home electronics comes from this drain.  Instead, plug electronics into surge protectors—when you want to turn everything off, turn the surge protector off as well to stop the drain.

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