User-friendliness: Varied. Digital music players may seem completely basic to some, but for those unfamiliar with file manipulation, download services and occasionally frustrating device menus, a cutting-edge media player might as well be a brightly colored doorstop. Not a good choice for the uninitiated or for those not interested in digital music.
Huh?: Products made from either recycled materials or earth-friendly components.
Consider: Though most eco-behaviors with computer products are currently voluntary, this is not the case in the European Union. The potential for dangerous toxicity with computer products caused the EU to create the “Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations” directive (RoHS) in 2006, which limits the levels of substances like lead, mercury and cadmium in electronics.
Considering other product restrictions like PhRMA and BPA bans occurred in the EU first, distributors would be wise to keep an eye on RoHS as well. Crug pointed out, too, that RoHS and EU standards in general are a good place to start when environmentally evaluating a product. “My hope is that the U.S. will come up with some standards for electronics coming into the country, but right now there are none,” she said. “If you want to be green and compliant and concerned about the environment, you kind of have to go with the European standard.”
User-friendliness: Great for both end-users and distributors. Green products are becoming a stronger and stronger marketing angle, and when considered with the potential legal risk and environmental damage from using conventional products, there doesn’t seem to be much of a downside to going green.