green computing

Green computing, also called green technology, is the environmentally responsible use of computers and related resources. Such practices include the implementation of energy-efficient central processing units (CPUs), servers and peripherals as well as reduced resource consumption and proper disposal of electronic waste (e-waste).

One of the earliest initiatives toward green computing in the United States was the voluntary labeling program known as Energy Star. It was conceived by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 to promote energy efficiency in hardware of all kinds. The Energy Star label became a common sight, especially in notebook computers and displays. Similar programs have been adopted in Europe and Asia.

Government regulation, however well-intentioned, is only part of an overall green computing philosophy. The work habits of computer users and businesses can be modified to minimize adverse impact on the global environment. Here are some steps that can be taken:

  • Power-down the CPU and all peripherals during extended periods of inactivity.
  • Try to do computer-related tasks during contiguous, intensive blocks of time, leaving hardware off at other times.
  • Power-up and power-down energy-intensive peripherals such as laser printers according to need.
  • Use liquid-crystal-display (LCD) monitors rather than cathode-ray-tube (CRT) monitors.
  • Use notebook computers rather than desktop computers whenever possible.
  • Use the power-management features to turn off hard drives and displays after several minutes of inactivity.
  • Minimize the use of paper and properly recycle waste paper.
  • Dispose of e-waste according to federal, state and local regulations.
  • Employ alternative energy sources for computing workstations, servers, networks and data centers.


This was last updated in May 2010

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In addition to everything that is said in the article, I’d like to pipe in and mention green IT. I think that green computing is one of the most important aspects of environmental protection when it comes to technology.

How so? There’re some examples:

·       Videoconferencing helps reduce the use of fossil fuels as, quite often, it replaces fuel-demanding business trips.

·       Smart home solutions optimize the use of natural resources, such as water and, again, fossil fuels.

·       Electric cars that are run on sophisticated automotive software are considerably more environmentally-friendly than their conventional counterparts.

·       Portable devices help reduce paper waste, including that concerning books and printed media, which preserves trees.

·       Advanced tracking and monitoring technologies help scientists protect animals by keeping track of poachers, monitoring forests for illegal logging and wildfire.

·       Predictive maintenance systems detect cases of the future outage of electronic devices, which helps take timely measures on their fixing and, thus, reduce e-waste.

·       Efficient public transport apps contribute to a greater convenience of public transport, which is why people abandon their personal cars, which is favorable to air condition.

·       Online stores have become a mature alternative for offline shops, which reduces fuel consumption and air pollution.

·       Sophisticated purification technologies help renew some natural resources.

If you have more ideas on the point, please let me know.

Good timing for this info -- they just moved the Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds before midnight!


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