EcoLogo, Eco-label and Choosing a Product

By M. David Stone  |  Posted 2008-09-25 Print this article Print


Similar in general description to Blue Angel, the Canadian EcoLogo certification can apply to a wide variety of products, with different criteria for each kind of product. Computer-related categories include computer keyboard, computer mouse (currently there are no qualified products in either category), desktop laser printers, remanufactured cartridges and printing paper. As with Blue Angel, the requirements vary with each category. For printers, for example, the issues include energy efficiency, ozone and dust emission, and whether the printer is compatible with recycled paper and remanufactured cartridges.

Other Eco-labels

There are a slew of other national eco-labels, including (but not limited to) Dutch, Austrian, French, Czech, Hungarian and Polish versions, as well as the Nordic Swan in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. There's even an EU version called the Eco-label, also known as The Flower Eco-label, because of a logo that's designed to look like a flower.

Keeping track of all the different eco-labels is impractical, but the good news is that the various organizations behind these labels are working to develop a common approach. Stay tuned on that one.

Finding Products

If you're serious about buying green products, consider starting your buying search by picking the certifications you want the products to meet, and then confining your search to products with those certifications.

Most of the Web sites mentioned here include lists of products that meet the standard the Web site deals with. To see a list of desktop systems with EPEAT Gold certification, for example, you can go to the home page of the EPEAT Web site, scroll down to the EPEAT Registered Products Search Tool, which is in the form of a table, and click on the intersection of Desktops and Gold. You can then click on each individual item in that list to get more information on it. With a little luck, one or more of those products should meet your needs.


M. David Stone is an award-winning freelance writer and computer industry consultant with special areas of expertise in imaging technologies (including printers, monitors, large-screen displays, projectors, scanners, and digital cameras), storage (both magnetic and optical), and word processing. His 25 years of experience in writing about science and technology includes a nearly 20-year concentration on PC hardware and software. He also has a proven track record of making technical issues easy for non-technical readers to understand, while holding the interest of more knowledgeable readers. Writing credits include eight computer-related books, major contributions to four others, and more than 2,000 articles in national and worldwide computer and general interest publications. His two most recent books are The Underground Guide to Color Printers (Addison-Wesley, 1996) and Troubleshooting Your PC, (Microsoft Press, 2000, with co-author Alfred Poor).

Much of David's current writing is for PC Magazine, where he has been a frequent contributor since 1983 and a contributing editor since 1987. His work includes feature articles, special projects, reviews, and both hardware and software solutions for PC Magazine's Solutions columns. He also contributes to other magazines, including Wired. As Computers Editor at Science Digest from 1984 until the magazine stopped publication, he wrote both a monthly column and additional articles. His newspaper column on computers appeared in the Newark Star Ledger from 1995 through 1997.

Non-computer-related work includes the Project Data Book for NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (written for GE's Astro-Space Division), and magazine articles and AV productions on subjects ranging from cosmology to ape language experiments. David also develops and writes testing scripts for leading computer magazines, including PC Magazine's PC Labs. His scripts have covered a wide range of subjects, including computers, scanners, printers, modems, word processors, fax modems, and communications software. He lives just outside of New York City, and considers himself a New Yorker at heart.


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