Energy Saving Trust: gadget warning

At the same time as the world's largest consumer electronics show is taking place in Las Vegas, the Energy Saving Trust (EST) has reiterated its stance on 'non-essential' electronics and the problems they're causing the environment.

According to the EST, climate change is being hastened by the constant release of fashionable new products and consumers' desire to 'keep up with the Jones'.

"Our growing passion for gadgets is having a significant impact on our energy bills, and on the environment," said Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust. "We're very surprised by what people claim are essential products."

EST points to research claiming that electronics companies alter the appearance of electronics "every few years". This in turn makes the consumer feel their product is out of date and in need of upgrading.

The Trust asks that consumers be more resilient in their desire to adopt new products and manufacturers to build and market more responsibly.

Last week, the Environment Secretary David Miliband warned that people in the UK "will have to alter every aspect of the way they live in an effort to prevent climate change".

The EST's top 10 electronic devices people now see as essential

  • Digital cameras 2.5m
  • Mobile phones 2.5m
  • Computers 1.75m
  • Televisions 2.25m
  • Cordless telephone 1.25m
  • DVD player/recorder 1.25m
  • Electric kettle 1.25m
  • Microwaves 1.25m
  • MP3 Player 1.25m
  • Hairdryer/styler 1m