LONDON --- Nintendo's Mario, Microsoft's Master Chief and Sony's Kratos, and friends, are just not doing enough for the environment, so lobbyist group Greenpeace is urging their fans to write to the games console makers to make the machines more eco-friendly.
And if you are feeling hard done by at not getting that Wii under the Christmas tree for lack of availability, don't worry. According to Greenpeace in its "Clash of the Consoles" report, Nintendo is the worst offender, having so far failed to eliminate the most toxic chemicals used in the Wii and with no voluntary take back or recycling policy.
Sony and Microsoft fare only slightly better -- but are still on Level 1 -- with their PS3 and Xbox 360 according to Greenpeace as regards the elimination of the worst toxic chemicals from their consoles with both actually having an elimination policy. But the campaigns group sourly noted that in Microsoft's case, this is not expected to come into play for a few years yet. It also stressed the Sony policy does not specifically cover the Play Station.
As regards stand-by electricity use, Nintendo does significantly better, with the Wii using much less power compared to the other two consoles, the study says.
According to Zeina Al Hajj, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner, games console makers are "lagging way behind the makers of mobile phones and PCs who have been reducing the toxic load of their products over the past year."
Game consoles contain many of the same components as PCs "so manufacturers can do a lot more," she suggests.
Greenpeace has created a link on its site on which players and concerned citizens can register their concerns and urge the console makers to green their game. "You hold the controller. You are the people these companies listen to," says Greenpeace.
In the past, the lobby group has protested against HP's use of toxic chemicals, helped push Apple towards a greener future and penalized companies like Sony, LG, Motorola and Nokia when their actions have not lived up to their green words.