21 Dec 2010:
Digital Billboards Consume
Large Amounts of Energy, Analysis Shows
The growing number of digital billboards on U.S. roads and highways consume large amounts of energy
and are creating a wide variety of electronic waste, according to a new report. The new study says the typical digital billboard consumes about 30 times as much energy as the average American household. The digital billboards use more efficient LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting than traditional signs, but deploy so many of the LED bulbs on each billboard that energy use is high; traditional billboards use just one or two large bulbs to illuminate signs, according to the study
by Gregory Young, a Philadelphia-based architectural designer and urban planner. In addition, digital billboards are illuminated day and night, and require cooling systems that use more energy. And while LEDs, plasma and LCD screens are recyclable, reuse is not mandated, leading to a large surplus of “techno-waste,” said the study, published by the group Scenic America. The U.S. has roughly 800 digital billboards, compared with 450,000 traditional billboards. But use of the technology is expanding quickly, with more than 2,000 expected by 2012.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.