In Search of a Greener Gadget

Eco-friendly Laptops

Toshiba's Portégé R600 was another of the green devices on display. Recognized by Greenpeace and the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool, an independent system that compares eco-friendly features of consumer electronics, the energy-efficient R600 eliminates toxic chemicals such as lead and mercury.

The company Asus also displayed and eco-friendly laptop encased in light, durable and renewable bamboo. The laptop was released last year but just recently went into production.

Not Just Products, but the Process

These companies emphasize that they're not just making their products more environmentally-sensitive. They're also changing their manufacturing and distribution procedures.

"Our engineers actually have a very thick design guide that they use from the very beginning when they start to design a product," Craig Hershberg, director of environmental affairs for Toshiba America, told ABCNews.com. "How can we minimize environmental impact? How can we increase the value for our customers? So we take that mind-set and bake that in the very early stages."

Panasonic is another one of the companies leading the way to more ecologically-friendly electronics.

"[We] are focused on living in harmony with the environment. We have been for many, many years," said Paul Liao, chief technology officer at Panasonic Corporation of North America. "We try to make the devices in the most effective way, the most efficient way."

Along with Toshiba and Sharp, Panasonic also recently expanded an electronics recycling program that spans the entire country. By the end of this month, Liao said 280 sites will exist in every state in the country and, by 2011, 800 sites will exist.

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