It gets easier to be green. How certain projectors become a smart environmental choice.

It gets easier to be green. How certain projectors become a smart environmental choice.

As educators, we frequently drive home the importance of caring not only for our needs of today, but the needs of the future. This is particularly true when it comes to the environment. While the political climate around the topic might seem unstable, administrators and those in purchasing positions can do their homework and earn an A in protecting students and their future by going green.

Shop Smart

Although it can be tricky to determine how truly green your choices are, a quick scan of awards can offer a handful of options that will meet not only your school’s needs, but the earths. For a broader list of options, many look to nonprofit TCO Certified for a list of tech that not only stays true to environmental issues, but social issues as well. TCO Certification is available for eight product categories: displays, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, desktops, all-in-one PCs, projectors and headsets. Products must meet criteria for energy efficiency, ergonomic design and limited hazardous substance content. This organization looks at more than a surface assessment of how eco-friendly a project is upon purchase, but at the tech’s environmental sustainability throughout the IT product life cycle. Projector and display models from companies like Casio, Epson, BenQ and ViewSonic made the list.

Hybrid Helpers

Hybrids might have taken auto options to the next level in environmental impact awareness, now the concept is driving a new style of projection. Casio's line of LampFree projectors provide eco-friendly data projection by combining a hybrid laser and LED light source to create a high-brightness, mercury-free tool. The developments allow the hybrid projector to use up to half the amount of power per unit than other lamp-based projectors. Although the use of mercury is widely prohibited worldwide today, this hazardous substance continues to be employed as a light source for conventional projector lamps — creating an issue when the used lamps needs to be discarded.

Another element to keep in mind, both financially when it comes to Total Cost of Ownership and environmentally when outdated or inefficient tech has to be replaced and lamps safely disposed of, is the LampFree projectors' long operating life of up to 20,000 hours. This ability to run all day in extended-use applications make them an affordable, low maintenance solution while a new extended warranty program ensures the tech remains viable without the extra eco-footprint of replacing and recycling inadequate machines.

“Whether it is helping to eliminate environmental concerns when using our technology, improving the financial bottom line, or simply making the user experience more convenient, we are always looking to provide the best projection solutions that are both easy and efficient,” said Joe Gillio, Senior Director Strategic Planning and Marketing, of Casio’s Business Projector Division.

Sustainable to the Core

Eco-friendly efforts goes deeper than the final product. Many companies are concentrating their eco-efforts from step one, creating a more green atmosphere in production facilities and corporate buildings. Epson, whose offices use 100% renewable energy, earned an EcoVadis Gold rating in part due to a commitment to sustainable manufacturing in Epson-owned factories and working with partners that support the circular “make, use, return” approach.

Casio America is also celebrating a 4th ENERGY STAR certification from the EPA for superior energy performance. "Casio's U.S. headquarters continues to demonstrate true environmental leadership by reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are proven to contribute to climate change,” Jean Lupinacci, ENERGY STAR Director for Commercial and Industrial buildings. "Improving energy is so critical for our future.”

Sascha Zuger

Sascha has nearly two decades of experience as a freelance journalist writing for national magazines, including The Washington Post, LA Times, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic Traveler, and others. She writes about education, travel and culinary topics.