Remember CES 2006, the biggest high-tech showcase on the continent? It was only last week, after all, but this week has been all about Macworld. Anyhow, I feel ultratardy for bringing up some positive changes at CES--namely, the growing awareness of the long-term ecological effects of disposable electronics. There were electric cars and fuel cell-powered gadgets, for example. Plus, a Green Saturday event awarded electronics companies for efforts to recycle waste and to design less-polluting, more energy-efficient products. Some noteworthy examples:
The body of the HP Photosmart R817 digital camera is made of recyclable metal, and it ships with less packaging than usual. The aluminum case of the HP Deskjet 6940 printer is also recyclable, unlike most plastic printer shells. The HP Scanjet 5590 scanner is made partly from recycled inkjet cartridges and plastic bottles, it complies with Europe's strict RoHS laws to reduce heavy metals and, like the other HP products, it's Energy Star compliant.
Panasonic's DMC-FX9 Lumix camera and CF-W4 ToughBook laptop don't use toxic metals such as lead or mercury. The camera uses 21 percent less energy than the older DMC-FX7, and its lithium-ion battery is recyclable. The fanless ToughBook is Energy Star compliant.
The Philips EcoDesign program tries to produce TVs and monitors with fewer hazardous chemicals and energy demands, such as its 37PF7320A flat-panel TV and 190S6 19-inch LCD.
Intel's products are 95 percent lead-free, and its technology powered the first Energy Star-compliant computers 12 years ago.
The base of the Sony AIBO robot is made partly of plastics derived from plants, not petroleum.