Thursday, September 25, 2008

Make a Difference With These Green IT Tips

Green IT is taking center stage on campus as students, faculty and staff seek sustainable alternatives with both environmental and financial benefits. If you don't believe what you do makes a difference, think again. When it comes to simple decisions about the technology you use every day, the choices you make really can add up. Consider these statistics:

* Every person in America, on average, uses about SEVEN TREES worth of paper annually. That comes to 680 pounds of paper per person per year.
* E-waste is increasing dramatically each year as computers, printers, cell phones and other electronic appliances are discarded. These items may contain toxic mercury, lead or cadmium that can contaminate groundwater and lead to increased health risks. Latest numbers indicate Americans generate 16 pounds of e-waste per person per year.
* Electronic equipment and appliances left in standby mode can account for up to 10% of the total power you use in a year. This "phantom load" or "vampire power" also adds to your energy bill - about $150 during a twelve month period.

Things You Can Do

* Reduce your paper consumption. You can use WebSpace to collaborate on documents with classmates and Blackboard to turn in your class assignments. If you do need to print, print double-sided and recycle any paper you aren't going to use any more.
* Properly dispose of all e-waste. Apple and Dell both recycle computers, and Goodwill accepts unwanted computers for reuse and training purposes. Office Depot has also started an e-waste disposal program; contact a store to find out details.
* Turn off your desktop computer. It's an old myth that leaving your computer running saves anything! In fact, a computer left running all the time uses about 2,628 kilowatts of power, costing you around $262.80 per year in power. And this assumes prices don't go up! You can save over $175 per year by turning off your computer at night - which puts money in your pocket and helps the planet too.
* Use LCD monitors instead of CRT monitors. If you use a 17” LCD monitor you consume about 40 watts of power. A 17” CRT monitor uses 120 watts. You don't even need to be a math major to figure out one simple choice can save you three times the energy!
* Go mobile and go green with a laptop. Laptops beat desktops in more than convenience and mobility. Because they use only 45 watts of power they are a smart choice when compared to a desktop that uses about 300 watts. Turn off your laptop at night, and you'll only end up using about 131 kilowatts of power per year. Imagine everything can do from and with your laptop, all for about $13 per year!
* Keep checking the ITS Web site. We will be providing lots more information throughout the year about Green IT best practices, tips and suggestions.