The picture quality on our televisions is about to get a lot clearer. TV stations are phasing out analog signals due to the fact that Congress has ordered all TV stations to send out digital signals by February 2009.
Why the change though? It will be inevitable that people will have to replace their old TVs or buy converters. Which will both inevitably mean creating more waste and using more of our world resources. So environmentally, are there any benefits? Could improved quality of picture also indicate advancement in the energy efficiency of the TV? According to a survey the National Resources Defense Council did in 2005, most high definition TVs require more power. Which means that when the ultimate switch is made, America will be consuming more power.
What can we do as eco-conscious consumers? Unfortunately, energy efficiency is probably the last priority on people’s lists when shopping for a TV. To lower your carbon footprint, watch out for the Energy Star symbol. A company of note: Panasonic has earned the Energy Star Partner of the Year several years in a row.
Also, beware of the sleep mode. Our TVs are part of a group of energy suckers in our homes. Things like our toasters and microwaves, computers and TVs all use energy even when we aren’t using them. A good way to reduce energy is to use power strips where several appliances or electronics can be plugged in one place, and then to simply turn off the power strip when not needed.