The EPA's Energy Star program seems like one of the saner environmental moves our country has made. Many of us place a great deal of importance in buying products that are environmentally sound. Energy Star gives us an unbiased, independent measuring standard to base our purchases on. This would be fantastic...if Energy Star compliance wasn't virtually meaningless.
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TreeHugger reports that the Government Accountability Office conducted an undercover test of the EPA's evaluation system. They submitted twenty completely made up products (one of which was a gasoline powered alarm clock) from four fake companies. Fifteen of the faux gadgets ended up passing and receiving Energy Star compliance.
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Now, this does NOT mean that all or even most products that claim to be Energy Star complaint are bogus. It does, however, prove fairly conclusively that Energy Star compliance is NOT a good yardstick by which to measure if the products you buy are ecologically sound. With any luck, this study will put some serious pressure on the EPA to fix up the program. Until then, take that little “Energy Star” sticker with a big grain of eco-friendly salt.