For the month of April, anyone purchasing a Sharp LCD HDTV with a screen size of 37″ or larger can have their old television set recycled for free. The purchase has to be made on Sharp’s online retail site and the new screen has to be at least as large as the one being recycled. The new set comes with free home delivery, and the service will take away the old set at the same time.
Expect to see HDTV companies pay more and more attention to recycling and other environmental concerns such as power consumption. I’m not going to get into the scientific merits of the situation, but one fact is indisputable; global warming has captured the attention of the media, politicians, and consumers. This will drive a wide range of new initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I expect that almost all of these efforts will be well-intentioned, but it is also likely that they will range from highly effective to silly to counterproductive.
Still, encouraging recycling is generally good for the environment, and we now take for granted programs that collect used printer ink and toner cartridges. These efforts do reduce the quantity and content of waste delivered to our nation’s landfills. Sharp is to be commended for the is program, and should be encouraged to make it permanent. And as consumers, we should consider energy consumption and what happens at the end of a product’s life when we make our purchase decisions, not just for HDTVs, but for all electronic products.