April 22, 2013 by Rachel Cericola
The words “green” and “electronics” don’t seem like they belong in the same sentence. That said, there are plenty of companies out there looking to make gadgets and other electronic devices a little more Earth-friendly.
However, does that average consumer really care? The response is mixed, according to a new survey by Retrevo.
The good news is that a lot more people seem to be recycling electronics these days, when compared to the company’s research from three years ago. According to the new data, 72 percent of survey respondents claim to be recycling tech goods, which is up from 2010’s 39 percent. However, the most common reason for not recycling remains the same: people are just too darn lazy.
With some electronics containing goodies such as lead, arsenic, mercury and more, it’s probably a good idea to find a place that knows how to properly dispose of those products. Best Buy accepts most electronics absolutely free, with Staples taking a limited selection of devices. Costco, Sam’s Club and Apple all have some type of trade-in program, with places like Office Depot offering to do the deed for a fee.
It’s one thing to get your butt to a recycling location with old electronics in-hand. However, do consumers even care about green-friendly gadgets from the get-go? A selling point for many manufacturers seems to be the Energy Star seal of approval. While 67 percent of Retrevo’s respondents say they trust such ratings, only 42 percent really use them as a deciding factor when shopping. About 23 percent of purchasers feel badly about that, but still don’t buy the green gadgets. Another 45 percent say they don’t buy green and don’t feel an ounce of guilt. Wow.
Retrevo conducted this study via a poll of 3,604 online buyers from April 12-15, 2013. For more information on the study, check out Retrevo’s Earth Day 2013 Special Gadgetology Report.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.
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