Green computing

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Green Computing is the study and practice of using computing resources efficiently. The global use of computing resources, both servers and desktops, continues to grow dramatically. There are opportunities to reduce the ecological footprint of computing through careful selection of hardware and improved computer network designs.

Actions you can take

  • Buy and use a low power desktop or a laptop computer (70-90 watts) rather a higher power desktop (e.g. 300 watts)
  • For desktops, buy a low power central processing unit (CPU). This reduces both power consumption and cooling requirements.
  • Buy hardware from manufacturers that have a hardware recycling scheme, and recycle your old computer equipment rather than sending it to landfill
  • Turn your computer off when you are not using it
  • Enable hibernation using the power management settings. Standby does not save as much power
  • Replace your CRT screen with an LCD screen

Benefits - food for thought

From the Australian Greenhouse Office site's electronics page on computers and laptops:

  • A laptop computer used 5 hours each day generates around 40 kilograms of greenhouse gas each year. Desktop computers used the same way can generate between 200 and 500 kilograms. More than half of this is from using the monitor.
  • An LCD panel monitor generates around half as much greenhouse gas as a conventional monitor. Adjusting its brightness lower can cut emissions to a quarter.
  • Switch computers and equipment off when they’re not in use. This cuts greenhouse gases, extends product life and avoids a potential fire hazard.

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