I Spy a Blue Label

By Una Song

This year my husband and I went on vacation to Boise, Idaho to visit his parents, and then to San Francisco to attend my husband’s boss’s retirement party. The last time I was in Boise was before I started with the ENERGY STAR program. At that time, while I recognized the ENERGY STAR label, I didn’t know that the program qualifies more than 60 product categories—from TVs to dishwashers to light bulbs. Now that I help the program promote ENERGY STAR qualified consumer electronics, I am always looking around at what products people have in their homes to see if they are ENERGY STAR qualified.

I was pleased to see that my in-laws recently replaced their kitchen appliances and washing machine with ENERGY STAR qualified models. I also noticed that their electronics were ENERGY STAR qualified– the TV in the kitchen, the computer in the den, even the digital-to-analog adapter in the bedroom all had the familiar blue label.

When we went to our hotel in San Francisco, I also looked around at the electronics. Again I was pleased that not only was the television qualified, but so was the DVD player. The one electronic that did not have the label was the MP3 docking station. Since the hotel was built in 2006, perhaps they purchased these docking stations before the program started covering them in 2010.

My in-laws and the hotel in San Francisco have both taken small but important steps that make a big difference in protecting the climate. These little steps add up: if every TV, DVD player, and home theater system purchased in the United States this year earned the ENERGY STAR, we would prevent more than 10 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to the emissions from about a million cars. We would also save more than $700 million in annual energy costs. So the next time you are in the market for a new electronic, consider ENERGY STAR in your purchase.

About the author: Una Song works for EPA’s ENERGY STAR program focused on consumer electronics marketing. In her free time she plays tennis and likes to try new restaurants.