We got a Nintendo Wii for Christmas and it’s been in full use ever since. Tennis, golf, baseball – you name the game, we’ve played it. Of course, being energy conscious, I’ve been making sure that everyone unplugs it at the wall when not in use. I’ve also been patting myself on the back, because according to the U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council, the Nintendo Wii uses the least amount of energy of the three available game consoles. (The device uses an average of 16 watts in active mode compared with the energy sucker Sony Playstation that uses a whooping 150 watts in active mode.)
I was feeling pretty smug, really. Until I started reading Playing Dirty, a Greenpeace report published last year that examines what the game consoles are made of. Let me tell you – it sure ain’t pretty.
According to the report, all three game consoles – Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo – contain hazardous chemicals and materials. And chief among them are bromines and phthalates, toxic chemicals that are bad not only for our health but the health of the planet. It made for depressing reading. And to make matters worse, it seems that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are in no hurry to take any action to fix this.
But as usual, Greenpeace is on the job. They are laying out all the grime facts on their Clash of the Consoles website. They have created a form letter that you can email to the different companies telling them that it’s time they started making the world a greener place to live.
And they have even provided the manufacturers a blueprint (or in this case, a greenprint) on what they need to do to produce a true green console:
Produce energy-efficient products and inform the consumer on best practices to reduce energy consumption.
Take global responsibility for the full lifecycle of the products, especially when discarded.
Make upgradeable and recyclable products.
Design out toxins by removing hazardous chemicals and materials from products.
Now, if only the manufacturers would listen.