It seems as though everytime you turn around there is a new, cooler, faster, sleeker and more powerful gadget that we're told is the new must-have.
Treehugger.com has created a great How to Go Green: Gadgets guide. Below you'll find some helpful excerpts. (Check out the full guide here.)
Gadgets: The green impacts
Individually, gadgets might not seem like such energy hogs. However, take a moment to count how many gadgets you use. Gameboys and Play Stations, cell phones and Palm Pilots, alarm clocks and digital cameras. When we start to add up how many things we use on a regular basis, recharge by plugging in to the wall or popping in new batteries, or toss into the trash when they break, we realize that they make a serious impact. The sheer volume is enough to make us think twice about our consumption -- over 5 billion cell phone subscriptions (and far more cell phones) worldwide, about 1.4 billion television sets worldwide, well over 1 billion computers worldwide, and so many more devices we can barely count them. The environmental impacts are equally as difficult to tally.
Gadgets: Life cycle impacts
Not only do we have to look at energy use while we're running them, but at their entire life cycle. Measuring the impact our devices have on the environment means looking at them from cradle to cradle. Using the most environmentally friendly materials, manufacturing processes, and power sources, as well as ensuring they are properly recycled or repurposed at the end of their lifetimes are all essential elements of greening up our gadgets.
Getting greener gadgets
You might be thinking that your favorite electronics are now becoming a headache. But don't despair! We can definitely enjoy our devices while still helping to lighten their footprint. Doing simple things like charging properly, checking out Energy Star and Consumer Reports for input before purchasing, taking advantage of free recycling programs, or even making some money off our old devices are all ways we can seamlessly shift into eco-friendly gadget use. You don't have to ditch your well-loved cell phone or favorite game player to still go green. In fact, hanging on to your old devices for as long as possible before upgrading is one of the greenest things you can do.