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Green Computing

What is Green Computing?
What can I do to "green" my technology use?
How can I change my computer's settings to be more green?
What is Power management and how does it help?
Some Myths and Facts about Power Management
More Information about Green Computing

Green Computing

What is Green Computing?

Green computing is the environmentally responsible use of technology.

What can I do to "green" my technology use?

  • Enable power management on your computer.
  • Power down the computer and monitor when not in use.
  • Consider plugging your computer and peripherals into a power strip with an on/off switch and turn the entire power strip off when not in use.
  • Think before you print. Do you really need a paper copy?
  • Use recycled paper if possible
  • Use Print Preview to review your job before printing it
  • Print in black and white whenever possible.
  • Print two-sided whenever possible.
  • Reuse unnecessary print jobs as scratch paper.
  • Advertise events, parties, etc. electronically or with chalk instead of print-outs.
  • Recycle!
    • Use the recycling bins around campus to recycle paper, glass, aluminum, and plastic
    • Toner on campus can be brought to IT for recycling
    • Beloit College computers and laptop batteries can be brought to IT for recycling
    • Find a computer recycling location
    • Recycle used alkaline batteries, DVDs, CDs, or floppy disks in the AV office in Mayer Hall
  • Use email instead of faxes
  • If you are in the market for a new computer at home, consider buying an Energy Star compliant computer
  • If it's possible, download software from the web instead of purchasing a physical installation disc

How can I change my computer's settings to be more green?

Follow these instructions to enable Power management on your computer.

What is Power management and how does it help?

Every day energy is wasted by computers and monitors that are left on when not in use. By simply putting the hard drive and monitor to sleep after a short period of inactivity, huge energy savings can be realized. The computer should wake up with a quick click of the mouse or by pressing a key on the keyboard. In some cases, you will need to press the power button briefly to wake the computer up. Also, be sure to shut down your computer before leaving for the day and over weekends.

Some Myths and Facts about Power Management*

Myth: Computers have a shorter life when you turn them on and off frequently.

Fact: Hard disks in PCs older than 10 years did not automatically park their heads when shut off, leading to disk damage from frequent on/off power cycling. Newer PCs are designed to handle over 40,000 on/off cycles.

Myth: Turning your computer off uses more energy than leaving it on.

Fact: The surge of power when a computer is turned off lasts a few seconds and is insignificant compared to the sustained energy used in keeping it on during periods of inactivity.

Myth: As long as the computer is off, it's not using any power.

Fact: As long as they are plugged in, your computer and other electronic devices continue to use electricity – even when they are turned off or in standby mode. A computer uses up to 10 watts when it is turned off but still plugged in.

*(from http://ist.mit.edu/initiatives/it-energy/guidelines), Accessed 9/2/2009 and http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org, Accessed 9/2/2009)

For more information about green computing, check out these sites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_computing
http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org
http://www.energymanagement.umich.edu/utilities/energy_management/computing/
http://www.uwf.edu/helpdesk/eco/

Many computer manufacturers have information on their websites about their environmentally responsible practices.  Click the links below if you are interested in learning more.

Acer
Apple
Asus
Dell
eMachines
Gateway
HP
IBM
Lenovo
Samsung
Sony
Toshiba