Green Business Bureau Blog


How to Green Your Computer

June 17, 2010 | By: GBB | No Comments on How to Green Your Computer

You may not afford to substitute your energy sources to wind turbines or solar panels but you could definitely save a lot of energy by going green in using your computers. Computers evolve into a necessity for many households today. One factor that contributes to it is the considerable cheaper prices attributed to high demand of computer-related outputs. Individuals use computers to research, create reports, business activities and in home based jobs.
You may not realize it but every time you turn on your computer, you burn up a lot of energy that emits greenhouse gases in the environment. In fact, manufacturing of computers entail tons of plastic and metals that are discarded to the environment. It is an understatement to say that it is your responsibility to transform computer usage into a productive yet eco-friendly routine.

Here are simple steps to go green with your computers:

1. Research and buy eco-friendly computers. Look for the Energy Star seal. Computers that fall under this category are sure to save you and the environment a lot of electricity. Energy Star qualified computers reduce electric consumption when idle. After a period of inactivity, computers go to sleep mode. These computers also have efficient internal power supply. Overall, you minimize energy consumption and will be definitely reflected in your monthly electric bill. Energy Star qualified computers will also stay longer with you with its many power management and recyclable features. You may also consider switching to laptop computers. Desktop computers consume a greater deal of electricity compared to laptops and notebooks.  Energy Star further attests:

“If all computers sold in the United States meet the ENERGY STAR requirements, the savings in energy costs will grow to about $2 billion each year and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by the equivalent of those from 2 million cars.”

2. Consider buying refurbished computers. Retailers and some computer manufacturers offer computer systems and spare parts. Look for products that offer warranties. You not only save on point of sale costs but you also save the environment from production of new and unusable plastic and metal parts.

3. Manage energy usage. Sometimes, when you are in constant need of your computer during the day, you tend to leave it idle for several hours at lunchtimes, meetings etc. Turning the computer on and off seems like a hassle especially when you will use it immediately upon return. But a computer that is always turned on shortens its lifetime compared to a computer that is regularly turned off. This also goes for computers that are turned on overnight. An idle computer still consumes significant amount of energy even if it is not being used. You consciously add an average of eight hours of electric consumption on top of your whole day computer use.

You may start with a note attached to your computer saying, “Turn me off when not in use.” Soon, it will become a habit and you are on your way to becoming a green individual. As the famous philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it:

“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”


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