9 Tips to Green your Television
In one year, power used by our estimated 275 million TVs in the United States could power all the homes in the state of New York for one year.
By following the tips below, you can begin to reduce your energy consumption and the effects your television has on the environment.
✔ Purchase an EnergyStar qualified television – EnergyStar qualified televisions use about 40% less energy than standard units. EnergyStar qualified televisions must consume 1 watt or less in standby mode. On mode power requirements vary according to screen area and whether the unit is non-high, high, or full-high definition. External power supplies (EPS) packaged with TV products must meet all EnergyStar requirements for EPS devices. EnergyStar covers all types of televisions, including standard, HD-ready, and flat- screen plasmas and LCD’s.
✔ Size does matter – The energy consumption of televisions is becoming increasingly important as screen sizes increase. In short, power consumption increases (and often times dramatically) as the screen size increases. Some of the larger televisions on the market today consume as much electricity as a refrigerator.
✔ Plasma or LCD? – When choosing a television today, one of the first questions you will have is ‘should I buy a plasma or LCD?’ From an energy consumption point-of-view, LCDs generally use less energy than plasma televisions. Plasmas use roughly two to three times more electricity to produce an image of the same brightness as LCD. Many newer LCD-based TVs use LED, as opposed to fluorescent (CCFL), backlights. LEDs are more efficient in general, and can also use various dimming technologies that turn down either the entire backlight or independent sections, both of which save power. LED-backlit LCDs are the most efficient type of flat-panel TV available today.
✔ Unplug your television when not in use – Televisions, especially models that have standby modes, are ‘energy vampires’. Energy vampires consume electricity even when the electronic equipment is turned off. By unplugging your set when it is not in use, you will reduce the amount of wasted energy.
✔ Plug your television into a power strip – By using a power strip, you can reduce your power consumption by cutting off energy supply to ‘energy vampires’. Most power strips will come with surge protectors which can protect your electronics from any unexpected power spikes.
✔ Don’t leave rarely used televisions plugged in – Be sure that rarely used televisions are unplugged. As mentioned before, televisions are ‘energy vampires’ that use electricity even if they are not turned on.
✔ Recycle your old television – By recycling your old television, you are keeping it from ending up in a landfill. One option is to drop it off at a local thrift store or recycling center. However, be aware that some organizations do not accept televisions because of the potentially high repair costs associated with preparing them for resale. Be sure to check with Earth911.com to research the recycling options for your area. Another option is to check the Environmental Protection Agency’s website at http://www.epa.gov for a list of e- cycling companies in your area. Many of the major electronic retailers participate.
✔ Properly dispose of your old television – Many municipal landfills have banned televisions, and there is a good reason for this. Your old television could have as much as 8 pounds of lead, a poison that can cause nervous system damage.37 Lead is used in televisions to protect you from radiation. If you send your television to a landfill, the lead will eventually leach out. Many manufacturers and electronic resellers now offer take-back programs for televisions. If your manufacturer or reseller don’t have a take-back program, you can do a quick search on the internet to find other organizations and businesses willing to take your old television.
✔ Don’t use standby mode – When turning off your television, be sure to fully turn it off. If you see a glowing blue light on the front of set after you turn it off, this probably means it is in standby mode. Televisions still consume energy while in standby mode.