Sunday, October 2, 2011

10 Energy Efficient Electronics for College Students

For manufacturers and retailers there is a lot of money at stake and they are catering to college students and other consumers who want more efficient electronics. Consumers are now expecting energy efficiency and this is particularly true of the new wave of environmentally aware college students.

In an August 4th, 2011, USA Today article, Rachel Roubein reviewed the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, originally funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and run by the Green Electronics Council. This tool helps consumers find green-friendly electronics like notebooks, laptops and desktops.

Click here to go to the EPEAT website which reviews over 2,700 registered products from 40 manufacturers.

College students are amongst those who are using the tool to find more than 60 types of home and office products with the energy-efficient Energy Star label. Energy Star electronics significantly reduce power usage. For example, the choice of the right laptop can decrease energy consumption about 30% to 65%.

College students can save money on energy bills, but more importantly they are making important lifestyle choices that they will bring with them for the rest of their lives.

Here are ten examples of energy efficient electronics:

•TV: Earning the Energy Star title as this year's most-efficient television is the 15-inch Insignia (model NS-15E720A12). It costs $129 and can be purchased at Best Buy. To boost its energy-friendly factor, the TV contains LED back-lighting — making it 40% more energy-efficient than TVs that don't.

•Computers: Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Dell sell a slew of Energy Star-rated, EPEAT-listed items. Among those, Apple updated its $999 MacBook Air, featuring a long battery life: It can last up to 30 days in standby mode. All Apple products are Energy Star-certified. On average, HP products are 50% more energy-efficient than they were six years ago, according to Kerry Smith, HP's education markets manager. The Energy Star-certified, EPEAT-registered HP Pavilion model dm4, priced at $579.99, is just one such example. With a battery life of up to five hours when in use, the $549.99 Dell Inspiron model 14R also is one of many that has garnered the Energy Star label.

•Microwaves. The iWavecube is a 12-pound, 12-inch-tall portable microwave that costs $99.99 and uses less power than larger models.

•Printers: Made from 35% recycled plastic, the HP Deskjet model 3050 all-in-one printer is environmentally friendly down to its core. When the $79.99 machine is in sleep mode, it uses the same amount of energy as a clock radio.

•Lamps: Energy Star-rated light bulbs, starting at $2.99 at Target. GE's Instant On Compact Fluorescent ($9.79 ) uses 75% to 78% less energy than a standard bulb.

•Home theater equipment: Energy Star-certified DVD players or Blu-ray players from a variety of makers — such as Samsung and Toshiba — which use up to 60% less energy than conventional models. One example is the Dynex Blu-ray player available at Best Buy for $109.99.

•Chargers: The $99 iGo Green laptop wall charger uses 85% less power. It can also charge iPods, phones, MP3 players and Bluetooth headsets.

•Gaming Tablets: Big Fish Games' PlayWrite is the thinnest, lightest, and most energy efficient tablet device available today. It is made for gamers.

•Mobile(Smart)Phones: The Motorolla Defy is amongst the most energy efficient.

•Flashlights: The Fenix LD 20 LED flashlight is small, lightweight, ultra powerful, and has multiple brightness modes.

Future innovations can be expected that will make electronics even more efficient. For example, Intel recently announced a line of more power-efficient microprocessors for smart phones and tablets that could make these devices 44 percent more efficient.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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