Here's a chance to make millions: Come up with a green TV. Frankly, there just isn't one yet. Even with huge technological "advances," this standard household item isn't getting greener.
The facts are these: An LCD TV consumes 30 percent less energy than the same size plasma version. But surprising new evidence suggests a chemical used to make LCD televisions and semiconductors is 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Not good news.
Unfortunately, that means tentative steps by Philips, for example, which launched an eco tv earlier this year, are null and void.
Still, an energy-efficient LCD is still better than your old CRT model, right? Well not necessarily...since, let's confess here, your LCD is probably much bigger than your CRT. If your LCD is more than three times bigger than your old CRT, then you are using more energy.
So what's the best advice?
1)Avoid the Upgrades
Do you really need that giant movie theater-sized screen plastered on your wall or will your old one do just fine for another few years? Americans are expected to throw away some 80 million analog TVs by the end of 2009. Yikes. If you stick with the TV you have, that's a small chunk out of a landfill.
2) Turn it Off
People have a variety of reasons to leave it on: To keep the dog company, for security, for the white noise. You'll save some cash on your electric bill if it's only on when you are watching it and you unplug it when it is not in use. Invest in a power strip and flip the switch. If you still want the background buzz, try a radio.
3) Dim the Backlighting
Most TVs are preset to a blinding brightness. Change the settings and avoid the headaches and the extra power consumption.
4) Keep the TV Small
If you must buy one, don't supersize. Do you really need 42 inches or will 20 do you just fine? Avoid the push to make it a status symbol.
5) Resell or Properly Dispose of Your Old One
Ehow offers some great TV disposal tips. If you can't give it away to a friend, resell it for a little cash, or donate it to an organization like the Salvation Army, safely dispose of it at a recycling center. They will insure the harmful chemicals in the Cathode Ray Tubes won't escape to harm you or the earth.
6)Use Your Computer Instead
Finally, you could forgo the TV entirely -- and stick to using your computer for your favorite shows, therefore using one less appliance. Many networks -- such as ABC -- now offer free downloads.
Have your own tips for greening your TV? Comment below!
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More From TreeHugger on TVs
::Flat Screen TVs Worse For Climate Than a Big Coal Plant
::Plasma TVs Suck (Electricity)
::Can a Flat Panel TV be Green?
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