OK so I felt guilty for using the computer and contributing to this blog. So here are some tips on minimizing the environmental impact of computer use.
- ELECTRICITY: Buy computers with the Energy Star logo. Turn off the computer when not in use and only turn on peripherals when you are ready to use them.Screensavers do not save energy—shut your computer off instead. Look for ways to limit your computer activities.
- PAPER: Don’t print unless you have to. Reuse paper that’s already printed on one side.Use unbleached recycled paper. For general information type of documents, circulate by email instead of printing out individual copies. Avoid needless printing of email messages. Use email instead of faxes or send faxes directly from the computer to eliminate hard copies.
- UPGRADE:Instead of replacing your old computer, upgrade. With a little patience, you can do it yourself or have a professional do it for less than the price of a new one.You may also give it to charity or use a recycling service. Don’t throw out your old computer.The chemicals in computer equipment leach into the soil and ground water.
- RECYCLE: For diskettes, just reformat and reuse. Refill and reuse toner cartridges.
- OTHER SUGGESTIONS:Buy a monitor that’s only as large as you really need. Buy ink jet instead of laser printers. Use your computer to help the environment e.g. by writing to newspapers and the government. It can also allow you to telecommute,eliminating transportation and other costs.
For more information see the University of Buffalo Guide to Green Computing