Reach for the Blue label on Black Friday
By: Una Song
Every family has their own ways of celebrating the holidays, and my family is no different. At our Thanksgiving dinner, we will have all the usual fixings: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. But being Korean, we’ll also have kimchi (pickled cabbage), jap chae (a noodle dish with vegetables and beef), and mandoo (Korean version of wontons).
Another Thanksgiving tradition of mine is seeing an action movie with my cousins after dinner and then shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving. When I was younger, we would go to the department stores and look for the best deals on sweaters, ties and scarves. Now I find myself increasingly spending more time looking for electronics. I am not alone. According to the Consumer Electronics Association’s Holiday Gift Guide, technology gifts like tablet computers, smartphones, digital TVs and cameras, and video game systems once again top many wish lists.
Those who want to do good by the environment can choose electronics that use less energy by looking for EPA’s blue ENERGY STAR label as they do their holiday shopping. The ENERGY STAR label helps consumers easily identify products that are energy efficient, and it can be found on over 65 product categories, including TVs, computers, printers and other electronics.
Hot products like soundbars and speaker systems for MP3 players are great gift ideas and they are covered by the ENERGY STAR program. Products that have earned the ENERGY STAR provide the same functionality as standard models, but use less energy because they are more efficient in all usage modes: sleep, idle, and on. If every TV, DVD player, and home theatre system purchased in the U.S. this year were ENERGY STAR qualified, we would save more than $260 million and prevent more than 3 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 300,000 cars.
So when you start making your shopping list this year, look for the ENERGY STAR logo and do something good for the environment this holiday season.
Una Song works for EPA’s ENERGY STAR program and is focused on marketing ENERGY STAR consumer electronics. She looks forward to the Thanksgiving food coma every year.
Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.