Recently I purchased a power meter. What with environmental concerns, and the Australian greenhouse agency making noises about banning certain TVs that fail to use sufficiently small amounts of power, I figured that it was something I really ought to start watching for myself.

So far it has been mildly interesting, with a wide range of power used. For example, one 50 inch plasma TV used 550 watts (using the standard IEC62087 test DVD) out of the box, while another used less than 320. That can be a significant difference in your power bill — or in greenhouse gas emission if such things are of concern to you.

But perhaps I ought to measure other things related to environmental matters. How about paper usage? I’ve just reviewed a Harman Kardon home theatre receiver. The manual is a monster. Nine languages in one book, it weighs 1.46 kilograms. That’s more than most satellite speakers.

It’s funny how in just about all fields, we focus on certain particular matters and, often, ignore other things of equal importance.

Of course, since I am inclined to think we should use the environment to serve us, rather than apply ourselves to serving it, how much paper or electricity used by a product doesn’t worry me.

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