Studies show some shoppers will . But it's not always clear what seemingly --or who's creating the standards.
In the U.S., some companies develop their own labeling systems, which is faster than setting up industrywide standards but also can be less transparent, according to critics. For example, printer companies haven't established an independent system, but Canon is assigning its "" mark to some printers.
To address confusing product claims, the Federal Trade Commission is reworking its for the first time in nearly a decade.
The following , created by sources independent of product suppliers, are either industry benchmarks or are gaining in popularity. These icons can be found on the packaging of electronics and other everyday products. Where noted, directories of qualifying products are found online.
Energy Star () is the grandparent of third-party U.S. labels geared to help shoppers buy more energy-efficient products. For 26 years, the shooting star--backed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy--has marked electronics that are more energy efficient than others. The seal is found on computers, printers, TVs, DVD players, battery chargers, and other hardware. For example, qualifying printers use both sides of a page and are 25 percent more efficient than others.
April 21, 2008 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Environmental Protection Agency/Department of Energy
| Caption by: Elsa Wenzel
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