The Green Show: Happy Earth DayWe get a look at a green car from Honda, Greenpeace ranks the best and worst tech companies, and we have a few helpful buying tips from David Katzmaier.
>> Mark Licea: Hey everyone. I'm Mark Licea. Happy Earth Day, and welcome to the first episode of the "Green Show". Every week, we'll have the latest green tech news, tips on how to save energy and money, and we'll keep you up to date on CNET's power consumption tests for everything from TV's to PC's. The "Green Show" starts now. ^M00:00:19 [ Music ] ^M00:00:27 >> Mark Licea: Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. It's at the heart of fuel-cell technology and the power behind Honda's new Clarity. Now, it may look like an everyday car, but it actually won the 2009 World Green Car Award at the New York Auto Show. ^M00:00:43 [ Music ] ^M00:00:48 >> Mark Licea: Why is this car so green? The answer, it produces zero emissions. Where you would expect the gas tank to be is a hydrogen tank, and the car's fuel cell combines it with oxygen, which makes electricity, that powers the car. And the only byproduct is water, which actually comes out so clean that you can drink it. Not really though. [Music] Where are all these hydrogen refueling stations? The answer is not too many places. You can find them, but they're only in Japan and here in the States in Santa Monica and Irvine, California. If you are lucky to live in one of those places, you can lease one of these for around $600 a month, and for $20, you'll get a full tank of hydrogen which can run you for about 275 miles on a single fill. And now, I think it's time to break in my brand-new car. If you're in search of a new TV, you may choose a low-power model. A lot of TV's are energy-star compliant, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they consume less power. We asked Senior Editor, David Katzmaier, to explain. >> David Katzmaier: Well, the basic rule of thumb with TV's is that technology, screen size, and picture brightness are the main determinates of power use. So the greener TV's are the LCD TV's. Frankly speaking, plasma is going to use more power than LCD generally. And of course, if you turn down the brightness of the picture, any TV will get more efficient. A dim picture equals less power consumption, and also, smaller TV's. >> Mark Licea: So the TV is energy-star certified. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's a low-power TV. >> David Katzmaier: Yeah. That's true. The majority of TV's on the market in 2009 are energy-star certified. That includes plasmas that are generally less efficient than LCD's. Plasma gets around the energy-star certification by having a default picture mode be very dim. >> Mark Licea: I think a lot of people are concerned less with whether or not they're TV's green as opposed to really good picture quality. So are you sacrificing picture quality if you want to go green? >> David Katzmaier: Some would say just because, and I'm one of those people, plasma has generally better picture quality than LCD. Right there, you're making a sacrifice if you buy an LCD as opposed to a plasma, but there are a lot of LCD's that produce very good pictures, and if you're buying an LCD, you're not going to make that much more of a sacrifice. >> Mark Licea: Check out our quick buying guide here on CNET. It'll give you a price breakdown on just how much money you're spending a year on your TV's energy costs. In fact, by some estimates, electronic gear accounts for about 20 percent of home power use. Greenpeace just released its latest guide to greener electronics. It ranks 17 of the top consumer electronics companies on climate impact, toxic chemicals, and recycling. Nokia topped the list for its green environmental practices, and Samsung was number two for its global climate change cuts. Philips moved up 11 spots to number four for their improved recycling programs, and at the bottom of the list, Nintendo. Greenpeace gave the company a big fat zero out of ten for its poor recycling policies and Nintendo's increased production of greenhouse gases. I guess it's because of all those Wii's and DSI's? There's a funny little futuristic wristwatch concept that we wanted to share with you, and it's powered by kinetic energy. The watch reportedly pulls in air collecting carbon dioxide and expelling oxygen just like a plant. And the onscreen display tracks the amount of CO2 that you have removed. This all sounds very nice in theory, but whether or not it actually works is questionable. The Eco 2 will probably never come to market, but it does look cool. I'd wear it. And that does it for the "Green Show". We want to hear your feedback and green tips so send them in, greenshow at cnet dot com. I'm Mark Licea. Thanks for watching. [ Music ]