Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Saving Energy, Saving Time

To do our part to help protect the environment through home computing, we can change how we use our equipment as well as the decisions we make on new purchases. Some tips and/or reminders to help in this endeavor are:

• Turn off your computer when not in use. Better yet, unplug it! Try using a power strip to switch off all equipment at once when you are finish using them or that will turn off automatically. There continue to be a drainage of power since most devices consume electricity even when in their turned off state.

• If possible, use a laptop or upgrade to one instead of a desktop since the former uses less energy. According to Cool Citizen by Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), laptops use about 15w compared to a typical desktop’s 140w. This 19 page brief gives households numerous ways to do their part to save energy. If you have the time, give it a read

• When purchasing new equipment look for the Energy Star label to also enhance your goal of saving energy. Enabling the sleep mode on your desktop and monitor will drastically contribute to your conservation effort. Check out Energy Star instructions on how to enable the power management system on your particular operating system (

• Use a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitor if possible or make this your next monitor replacement purchase for your current Cathode Ray Tube (CRT). This will save you money in your electricity bill as the LCD uses less power than the CRT.

• Use recycled computer paper

• Refill ink cartridges

• Recycling your old computer and other equipment can also add to your effort in helping to protect the environment. Many manufacturers and retailers offer take back programs or sponsor recycling events as well as city sanitation departments. If still usable, donate to a charitable organization. SNAP (Strategic Neighborhood Action Partnership ) is one such organization I recently learned about. It is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of improving the quality of life in Fort Greene and the surrounding communities. I also found a very helpful article titled “Ten Tips for Donating a Computer" at

• Recycle disks. Ideas and instructions for the crafty at heart can be found at

• for bags, binders, wallet, note pads, pen holder and also at

Let’s do our part to help ensure a cleaner environment for future generations.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

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