Consumers ignoring 'green' products

February 26, 2010 // 10:31 a.m.

Tags: #eco-friendly #energy-star #green #green-gadgets #green-hardware #retrevo #survey

While our investigation into energy efficient hardware might have confirmed that choosing lower-power hardware can make a difference to your running costs if you're willing to sacrifice performance - or buy Intel processors - it seems that the public isn't yet switched on to the benefits of 'green' technology.

In a report released this week by consumer electronics site Retrevo - via CNet - a full 42 percent of those queried about their buying habits stated that they were unconcerned if "a gadget I buy is not green."

A further 16 percent answered the question of "do you feel guilty if you don't buy a green [energy efficient or otherwise environmentally friendly] gadget" with the rather more considered "no, because price is more important." Another 16 percent felt a twinge of guilt for buying power hogs filled with deadly chemicals, but would "end up buying whatever gadget I like best" regardless of its eco-credentials.

According to the survey, just ten percent of respondents used eco-friendliness as their biggest decider when buying electronic devices - promising to "usually buy the greenest gadget." Another 16 percent always tried to buy the greenest gadget, which alleviated their guilt when - for reasons of price or features - they opted for a less environmentally friendly model.

In total, that makes a whopping 74 percent who would buy whichever gadget had the best features, the best price, or caught their eye - which contrasts with just 26 percent making an effort to choose the environmentally friendly models on offer.

The survey also covers proper disposal of old hardware - with the respondents split fifty-fifty between wanting cash rewards for safe disposal of old gadgets and wanting the process of recycling your old hardware to be made easier - and energy efficiency ratings, with eighty percent of those questioned knowing about - and, more importantly, trusting in - the Energy Star ratings.

Do you make an effort to pick eco-friendly hardware, or do you think it's all a waste of effort? What do you do with your old technology when its time has come? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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