Green Technology means using technology to live in a way which is better for the earth and the people of the future. While computers are definitely technology, they are certainly not always green. In fact, computers use up a great deal of energy and are not always recycled which means that they often end up in landfills. While in this day and age, humans can hardly live without computers, there are ways that we can use them in a more sustainable and green manner.
Buy Energy Efficient
IBM and other companies are coming out with computers which are Energy Star Compliant, meaning that they have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Green Electronics Council also runs a rating for computers called the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) which uses more criteria even including packaging and end-of-life-management. A high efficiency model computer can cut up to 70% of energy use—therefore greenhouse gas emissions—for the average person.
Use Power Settings
If you are not in the market for a new computer, there are certainly ways to use your current computer in a more efficient manner. Settings such as sleep and stand by, even when just taking a quick five minute break, will help to save energy over time. Even better, set up your power settings to automatically put your computer to sleep after just a couple of minutes of sitting idle.
Turn It Off
Since the display is typically what uses the most power, simply turning off the monitor is incredibly important, even if you will only be away from the computer for a few minutes. If you’ll be away from your computer for more than two hours, turn off the CPU, as well as unplugging the power bar. The power bar can create a “phantom” energy use which is doing no one any good. Not only will this save on energy, but it won’t produce the extra heat which could increase your air conditioning needs.
Get a New CPU
Even if you don’t want to buy a new computer, consider spending a couple hundred dollars to upgrade your PC processor. Intel makes a few processors which can be placed into a pre-existing computer but are more energy efficient—and probably will work better than your old one too. This is an incredible investment if you work from home and have a computer on for most of the day.
Save on Printer Waste
Conserve paper and ink by printing more efficiently, being careful to double check mistakes before printing out. Just like turning off the computer, turning off a printer makes a large difference in draining energy, of course purchasing an energy-efficient printer is also an excellent step as well. Like computers, many printers have a feature which is able to set on power-save. In addition to using less paper, also buy recycled paper, and then recycle your paper and your printer cartridges faithfully.
Taking these and other simple steps will help you to keep your computer and printer in the most efficient working order possible.