Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Asustek goes for green with N-series notebooks

The N20 notebook series developed by Asustek Computer has won a WinHEC 2008 award in the Green PC category because of its eco-friendly design.

In addition to the WinHEC award, the N20 has been rated "Gold" in the Electronics Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) eco-program. Asustek said it has committed itself to "green," or environmentally-friendly PC products, in order to be responsible for hazardous waste from PCs.

EPEAT requires products to meet environmental criteria in eight categories including restrictions on hazardous substances, designing for end of life, energy conservation and packaging. Asustek has attempted to reduce hazardous materials and components that are used for its N20-series notebooks and eliminated a total of 37 hazardous substances, 31 in addition to the six controlled by ROHS regulations.

Not only is the N20-series' display mercury-free, but its LED backlight unit (BLU) also helps consume 50% less power than traditional CCFL panels, according to Asustek.

In addition, the N20-series adopts the in-mold roller (IMR) technology for its chassis, instead of conventional painting. IMR treated cases for notebook PCs help to reduce powder pollution to the environment. Meanwhile, the N20-series is also easy to disassemble for recycling purposes, Asustek highlighted.

The "eco-labeled" N20 series was launched in November 2008, targeting the mainstream consumer notebook segment.

for more info visit: http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20081225PD216.html

Read more!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Green Tips to Make Eco-easy Office: Go Green and Save Energy

With the current focus on increased environmental sustainability, conservation is quickly gaining momentum as a business necessity. Many companies are selecting green products to decrease their own impacts on the environment while saving money and resources. So, how can you and your office make green choices and make a difference? Here are some easy tips:

1. Learn the Lingo - Plenty of eco-alternatives exist, from textiles and fabrics to wood substitutes and hemp, and it is important to know your options. For example, Staples offers paper supplies made from sugar cane waste. The final product, available in notebooks, memo pads and filler paper, feels just like regular paper.

2. Love the Labels - When purchasing computers and office equipment, look for the ENERGY STAR(r) label, which identifies products that are more energy efficient than comparable products. These items can reduce the cost to power your office space or home office by up to 80 percent. For paper and wood items, check for the Recycled and Forest Stewardship Council logos.

3. Use a "Green" Screen - For a better, clearer computer picture, use an LCD monitor. Older monitors contain lead and other toxic heavy metals and can be hard on the eyes. And don't forget to set your power management settings to put your monitor and/or computer to sleep after 10-15 minutes of inactivity. You'll help save money by using green PC as well as by reducing electricity use.

4. Make a Sticky Statement - Addicted to sticky notes? No worries. Use sticky notes made from recycled paper and enjoy the same great quality. Also look to "right size" your sticky notes to save paper and money.

5. Write with "Green" ink - Many pens and highlighters are available with refillable barrels and non-toxic ink, and some pens also contain recycled content. These eco-preferable essentials make brainstorming a more eco-friendly activity.

6. Print Smart - While many businesses now include a "Please consider the environment before printing" disclaimer in their emails, printing documents is sometimes unavoidable. When printing cannot be avoided, look to double side print and copy, only print or copy the pages you need, and use eco-preferable papers. Opt for 30 to 100 percent post-consumer recycled printing paper, available in individual reams, as well as in bulk volume for offices.

7. Trend set with "Green D├ęcor"
- New eco-friendly bulletin boards are now available, which are made from 100 percent recycled rubber and are much more durable than traditional cork. Also look for natural and fast growing sisal, bamboo, and other plant fibers for rugs and other desk accessories.

8. Recycle Old Office Technology
- Companies often upgrade technology for their employees without considering what to do with the old ones. Staples offers everyday, in-store recycling for a wide range of technology products through its EcoEasy recycling program. There are also trade-in events at Staples stores throughout the year, where customers can upgrade and recycle old technology.

Related: Important Tips For Buying Green PC


Read more!

Friday, December 26, 2008

IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer Goes Green

Green Supercomputer
Operators of the supercomputing centre at Argonne National Laboratory used innovations in both computer architecture and cooling methods to achieve over Rs.5.00 crore ($1 million) in annual energy savings for its IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer.

Supercomputers typically consume multiple megawatts of electricity. At 557 teraflops, Argonne's Blue Gene/P is one of the fastest green supercomputers in the world, but uses as little as one-third the power consumed by other supercomputers.

"The most important part of how we got 'green' was to work with to design a system from the ground up specifically for energy efficiency, but without sacrificing performance," said Peter Beckman, director of Argonne's Leadership Computing Facility. "Our platform uses two to three times less power than other installed systems of similar computing size."

The biggest reason the IBM Blue Gene/P runs cooler is its clock speed, which was reduced to just 850 MHz, about three times slower than typical high-end cores. Power savings were greater than three-fold, according to officials at the Illinois lab. The reason is that the relationship between speed and power consumed is not linear, but exponential. To compensate for slower speed, the system uses many low-voltage parallel cores, in particular 163, 840 cores with 80 terabytes of semiconductor memory and eight petabytes of mass storage.

"By scaling back the frequency and voltage of each of the cores, and then aggregating very large number together into a single machine, we get a supercomputer that is both green and fast," said Beckman.

The architecture of each supercomputer processor board was designed to reduce energy consumption, Beckman said, by incorporating four cores, networking controllers, memory managers and other logic onto a single SoC, thereby eliminating power-hungry interface circuitry that must be glued together on supercomputer cores.

Argonne Labs also used an innovative cooling system to reduce power consumption. Air conditioners were replaced with fans to move 300,000 cubic feet of water-chilled air per minute to maintain a room temperature of 64°F. The technique uses only 60 per cent more energy for cooling than the supercomputer itself draws, compared to over twice the power for typical supercomputers.

Argonne Labs is currently constructing a new building, which will tap into the chilled water plant to circulate water through pipes inside the racks holding the supercomputers. Electrical components will then use mini-heat exchangers to cool the supercomputers chips directly with the cold water rather than air.

The lab also is seeking to reduce power usage in electronic components through smart power management functions that turn off chips and storage systems when they are not being used. Power-intensive computing jobs are also being scheduled to run at night, when temperatures are lower and the power grid has excess capacity.


Read more!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tips on how to save money, energy and the planet

Dreaming of a green Christmas

With a little bit of effort - maybe much less than you thought - you and your family can enjoy the holiday and help save the planet at the same time.

Holiday lights

Save money and energy by switching your old strands of incandescent holiday lights with newer light emitting diode holiday lights, which also are safer.

Plus, LEDs stay cool to the touch so they will not burn the tree or a child's fingers.

And, during the day shut off your holiday lights. It saves energy, and it allows your lights to last longer.


"Think about Christmas morning - you get done, and you have all these garbage bags full of trash," said Susan Angel, a green events planner from Boise.

The biggest thing someone can do to green their holiday, Angel said, is to do away with traditional wrapping paper and packaging, which often cannot be recycled.

Last year she made gift bags out of fabric.

"They are so easy to sew - three seams and a hem with a piece a ribbon," she said.

"If you are not real crafty, consider pillow cases tied with a ribbon." Other options include cloth or reusable gift or tote bags or wrapping gifts in usable items like dish towels or scarves. And try old newspapers, magazine pages, paper bags or old maps.

Last-minute shopping

Need to run to the mall one more time? BYOB; that's bring your own bag. Take your own cloth shopping bag and turn down clerks' offers of plastic bags.


Fake holiday trees are not environmentally friendly. Most are made in China from petroleum-based plastic and are not biodegradable, so they will sit in landfills for decades.

For a "greener" holiday tree consider a live, uncut tree, which can be replanted in your yard after the holidays.

Living Christmas trees can be purchased at some retail lots, choose-and-cut farms and some nurseries and garden centers.

The trees require a little extra attention. They need to acclimate for a couple of days in a garage or enclosed porch before being brought indoors, where they should not remain for more than one week. Then they should be gradually reintroduced to colder outdoor temperatures before being planted.

Fresh-cut Christmas trees from tree farms are a better choice than trees harvested from the wild.

Most fresh-cut Christmas trees now come from tree farms, so deforestation isn't an issue.

Additionally, Christmas tree farms keep large swaths of land from being developed. When the trees grow, they emit oxygen into the air.

When a cut holiday tree is past its glory, it can be recycled into mulch.

If you want to recycle your tree, do not use tinsel or spray it with fake snow, as tinsel and white trees cannot be recycled.


Here's a good rule for when your fancy new Christmas present replaces last year's electronics: If the gadget still works, donate it. If it is broken or antiquated, recycle it. But whatever you do, don't throw it in the trash.

E-waste is a growing environmental and public health concern as the world becomes more wired and companies introduce new products at a faster pace.

Discarded computers, televisions, cell phones, radios, batteries, cameras and other electronic gadgets contain a stew of toxic metals and chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

The average cathode ray tube, found in green computer monitors, televisions and other electronic devices, contains up to 8 pounds of lead, which can leach into the ground and contaminate groundwater.

Old cell phones can be dropped off at Staples office supply stores for recycling.

And don't forget the batteries. Buy rechargeable batteries to accompany your electronic gifts, and consider giving a battery charger as well.

Related Post: Ways to go green with the remnants of your Christmas

Source: http://ydr.inyork.com/ci_11290435

Read more!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top 10 Tips for a Green New Year

With Christmas just days away and the endof the year looming, many individuals and organizations are thinking about "green" New Year's resolutions and the best ways of recycling obsolete computers and other hardware.

10 Green Technology( Green Computer)Tips for 2009

1. Set a green goal for the year and encourage everyone in your office todo the same. Make a difference in 2009!

2. Set the "sleep" (power management) settings on your computer to automatically turn your monitor, hard drive or entire system off after specific periods of inactivity, and ask your organization to implement a policy on it. Save money and electricity!

3. Print double-sided, narrow the print margins and use print-management software such as Green Print.Save money, paper, water and forests!

4. Use rechargeable batteries. Save money and reduce toxics in landfills!

5. Choose refurbished computers or EPEAT-rated new computers. Save money and reduce toxics in landfills! Qualifying nonprofits and libraries can find low-cost refurbished computers at Tech Soup Stock.

6. Use re-manufactured toner and ink cartridges or get personal one srefilled. Save money and reduce toxics in landfills!

7. Buy or lease re-manufactured copiers, printers and all-in-one machines(e.g., copier, printer, scanner, fax). Companies such as IKON provide"like new" machines at a reduced cost. Save money and reduce toxics in landfills!

8. Use smart power strips. Save money and electricity when they automatically turn off your accessories (i.e., monitor, speakers, printer)when you shut down your computer!

9. Use electronic fax solutions, such as My Fax, an Internet-based secure faxservice. Reduce your need for paper, toner and hardware and save money,paper and toxics in landfills! Qualifying nonprofits and libraries can find this product donation at Tech Soup Stock.

10. Recycle your old electronics (anything with a plug), batteries, CFLsand ink cartridges. Reduce toxics in landfills! You can learn how to recycle electronics and find recycling centers here.


Read more!

Friday, December 19, 2008

10 Ways Your PC Can Save You Money in the Bad Economy

As daily reports confirm, we're now officially in the longest recession since the 1940s, with consumer spending down for the first time since 1991. Whether you're one of the many people that want to avoid the cost of an unnecessary computer purchase and to continue using their old machine or you just managed to buy that dreamt-of newest model, the good news is you can follow these 10 easy steps outlined by the green PC tune-up experts at iolo technologies to make your system - old or new - go a long way in the bad economy.

The tips below can help keep your machine performing like the day you bought it. They will also help you save on energy, repair and recycling costs - perhaps enabling you to take advantage of some of this season's unexpected travel specials and finally go on that Caribbean vacation instead of spending money on expensive computer service and upgrades.

RAM memory - with these three steps, you'll soon forget you needed extra memory.

1. Remove unnecessary Windows startup programs.

Many software programs will load unnecessary portions of themselves during startup eating up both memory and processor power.

How to: Use System Mechanic with its vast knowledge base of startup programs to safely recommend and automatically remove unnecessary memory wasting startup programs.

2. Defragment your memory.

Memory fragmentation occurs over time as memory is allocated and released by programs. When RAM becomes highly fragmented and Windows runs out of free memory, programs do not have enough resources to function properly. Programs may not open or may run slower and frequently crash. Defragment your RAM and you'll liberate enough memory to save you from buying an upgrade.

How to: Use System Mechanic to automatically defrag and rescue wasted memory

3. Clean, compact and defragment the registry.

Inaccurate registry references frequently cause computer crashes and lock-ups, while a scattered and bloated registry wastes system memory and slows down Windows processing. With a cleaned-up and defragmented registry, programs will load faster and you'll be able to run more items at the same time, without the extra RAM.

How to: Use System Mechanic to clean up, compact and defragment your registry and gain back all that wasted RAM memory

Hard drive - with two easy steps, you'll save on buying a new one.

4. Defragment the hard drive.

As you create, delete, and download files, your computer cannot store data as one unit and instead will split it up and store pieces in various drive locations. A fragmented hard drive has a large amount of such scattered data and can significantly slow PC performance. Files take longer to open and programs take longer to start. Defragment the drive and you'll accomplish these common tasks faster without buying a bigger drive.

How to: Use System Mechanic to automatically keep your hard drives defragmented. System Mechanic will even defragment core Windows System files, boosting performance well beyond the capability of the Windows built-in defrag tool.

5. Clean up clutter.

Over time, your hard drive steadily accumulates gobs of unnecessary files - old downloads, temporary internet cache, etc. Clean it up and you can recover gigabytes of hard drive space without spending time and money needlessly searching for a larger replacement drive.
How to: Use System Mechanic to automatically keep your PC free of clutter and your hard drive running at maximum capacity.

Energy use - follow these steps and you'll see your energy bill shrink.

6. Turn off the screensaver.

Research reveals that 53 percent of computer users never turn off their machine or turn it off only before they call it a day. The Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program touts figures estimating that people can save $25 to $75 in energy costs a year by merely turning off their screensaver.

How to: Go to Control Panel / Display / Screensaver and turn off the screensaver.

7. Tune up your PC.

A tuned up computer uses less energy by allocating its resources more effectively. Tune up your PC and you'll be able to run programs faster, accomplish more, and dramatically reduce your energy bill at the same time.

How to: Use System Mechanic, with more than 40 advanced tools and a range of options to satisfy both novice and expert users, to automatically tune-up your machine.

8. Monitor the devices around your PC.

The various peripherals that are plugged directly into your computer use extra energy. Wireless mice and keyboards are expensive and require regular purchases of new batteries.

How to: Unplug peripherals when not in use and opt for wired mice and keyboards instead of wireless ones.

Everything else - regularly tune up your PC and you'll save on much more than just the component upgrades.

9. Perform comprehensive regular tune-up and maintenance and save money on expensive support calls and Service Center visits.

Service center visits and tech support calls can often be costly, time consuming and stressful. The good news is most of them can be avoided because the majority of Windows problems can be easily fixed by a software tune-up.

How to: Use System Mechanic's patent-pending ActiveCare technology to keep your computer automatically tuned-up.

10. Tune up your PC instead of throwing it out and you'll save on recycling costs too.

You wouldn't throw out your car if it started running a little slower and a simple tune-up would restore power, so avoid the same mistake with your PC when System Mechanic can easily and inexpensively bring it back to like-new performance. A study performed in 2001 showed that approximately half of 500 million computers discarded in the US were actually in good working order; their slowness named among the top reasons they were discarded. Before you decide to toss your trusted machine, consider the fact that disposing of your PC in an environmentally responsible way can be expensive. Even when you think you've recycled it, your old PC might end up being sold to third world countries, where underpaid employees will be exposed to hazardous substances in search for the precious metals contained in its parts. Limit the pollution, waste and your expenses by regularly tuning up your PC and thus extending its life well beyond the currently brief national 30-month average.

Related: Tips To Make Computer More Green

Source: prweb.com/releases/iolo_technologies/save_money/prweb1769194.htm

Read more!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nokia to Recycle Handsets in Green Campaign

Mobile phone manufacturer Nokia will reward people who return old phones for recycling with tree seedlings to boost conservation efforts.

Since the campaign started, the handset manufacturer has only been able to collect 100 handsets against a target of 6,000 units needed to start its recycling process.

Mobile penetration in the country stands at 33 per cent with over 14 million subscribers, most of whom have owned more than one handset .

Factor competition

“Many people are simply unaware that these old and unused mobiles can be recycled. We are making it easier for the consumers to protect the environment,” said Mr Nick Maina, Nokia customer care manager for East Africa. The company is also facing competition from the informal sector operators who buy the dead phones at Sh500 for spare parts.

The Nokia campaign comes amidst growing concern over the impact of electronic waste on health and environment. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Gartner consultancy, there will be almost four billion mobile telephones in use by the end of this year, while the number of personal computers has already passed the billion mark.

The good news behind these figures is that the digital divide is shrinking, 58 per cent of computers are in developed countries but, this share is expected to drop to 30 per cent by 2014 when the total number of personal computers should reach two billion.

But there is another side to the coin: this year, almost 180 million computers have been replaced by new machines, and an estimated 35 million computers dumped, despite the toxic substances they contain.

EU regulation

Other than offering the incentive Nokia intends to increase its drop off point’s country wide. Currently, the company has only 60 drop off points which it says is not sufficient.

After collecting the old or unused phones the company will then take them to Europe for recycling. This is because there are no companies that meet the set standards for recycling the mobile parts regionally.

Part of the regulations by the European Union is that the recycling companies are not required to use the parts to make refurbished handsets.

Source: bdafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11827&Itemid=5822

Read more!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dell Chases Eco Title With Green Packaging

Dell today fought to regain a reputation as one of the most eco-friendly PC builders by launching a new effort to reduce the impact of its packaging. The company hopes to reduce the total amount of boxing and other material it uses by about 20 million pounds, or the financial equivalent of $8 million, from now through 2012. Computers in particular should drop about 10 percent of their packing material and will have as much as three quarters of their packaging made recyclable over the same four-year period.

Much of the gain is expected to come from reducing the amount of cardboard and switching the padding from material like styrofoam to renewable pulp and recycled polyethylene plastic, according to Dell. Systems like the Studio Hybrid already come shipped with padding made out of recycled milk jugs, while other systems are arriving in smaller boxes.

Pulp-molded cushions

The Texas-based firm considers its initiative a challenge to other PC makers and says it's the only firm of its kind to set a definitive target for reducing the environmental effect of its packaging.

Rivals such as Apple have publicly championed greener packaging for their systems but haven't committed to particular goals. Apple has largely focused on the aluminum and glass of nearly all its desktops and notebooks while Dell still uses significant amounts of plastic for many of its systems.

Notebook boxes

Polyethylene plastic trays

Source: electronista.com/articles/08/12/16/dell.green.packaging/

Read more!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Eco-Friendly Zero Watt Monitors From Fujitsu

Fujitsu has just introduced LCD monitors that shut off power entirely when not in use.

Here's something for the eco-conscious hardware enthusiast to cheer about! Fujitsu has just introduced a range of LCD monitors that shuts off power entirely to the monitor when it's not in use. Normally, monitors in standby mode still draw little amounts of power - ranging between 1 to 6 watts. The latest range of Sceneview premium ECO monitors simply powers off the display when you're not using it. The new models have this feature enabled by default.

The technology aims to cut down on ever-increasing electricity bills and according to a company calculation, businesses can save up to 168,000 pounds per year just by switching to these monitors. It works on a simple, patent-pending technology that power off the display when you log off. Power is returned with the help of an electric pulse that is sent to the monitor once the PC is active again.

The range includes the 20-inch P20W-5 ECO and the 22-inch P22W-5 ECO - both of which are premium segment models that are packed with nearly every feature you'll ever need. The features include a 5ms response time, up to 1680x1050 resolution, HDMI, automatic brightness control and a maximum brightness of 300cd/m2.

Source: techtree.com/techtree/jsp/article.jsp?article_id=92164&cat_id=581

Read more!

Monday, December 15, 2008

World's First Eco-Computer Produced in Ireland

The world's first biodegradable computer, the iameco, has been manufactured in Dublin from bio-degradable wood panels made from waste products in the lumber and pulp industry.

During a visit to the company by Ireland's Minister for Science and Innovation, Jimmy Devins, the inventors of iameco, MicroPro Computers Ltd, said they could implant the seeds of native-tree species into the wood panels.

The minister's visit coincided with the announcement of details of a new Enterprise Ireland Green Technology Support for businesses.

"Our business is built around green technologies and using them to produce healthier, more energy-efficient and cheaper computers that have less impact on the environment," said Paul Maher, chief of MicroPro.

He added: "One advantage of iameco is that when the components are buried in landfill the wood gets wet, breaks down and new plants begin to grow from old computers."

In addition to the iameco computer, which uses one third less energy than conventional computers, the biodegradable wood can also be used to manufacture the computer monitor casing, keyboard and mouse.

Commenting on the success of iameco, Devins said: "The iameco computer story is a true example of innovation at work. Not only have MicroPro Computers developed a new, profitable product range but consumers now have the option of buying an environment Eco friendly computer or TV."

He added: "Enterprise Ireland's GreenTech Support can help companies find ways to reduce air pollution and effluents, conserve water and save energy in the workplace as well as come up with new environmentally friendly products."


Read more!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sony Vaio become the 1000th PC to Snag Eco Label

A Sony Vaio has become the 1000th PC to snag the coveted EPEAT eco label. EPEAT, which stands for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, is a US labelling scheme that was launched in July 2006 and rates computer products on their environmental impact.

The laptop to pass the one thousand mark was the Sony VGN-SR290PDB, a business machine with a 13.3-inch screen, 2.26GHz Intel Core Duo 2 processor and LED back light. It grabbed gold in EPEAT's three-tier rating system, and scored highly for minimising toxic materials and being designed for recycling.

"The EPEAT rating system provides a simple, credible way to measure 'green' when it comes to electronic products, and that has enabled thousands of purchasers to significantly reduce the environmental impact of their computing", said Jeff Omelchuck, EPEAT executive director.

Key criteria for the EPEAT scheme include reduction of toxic materials, energy efficiency and how easy a product is to recycle.


Read more!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Green Batteries, Soon For HP Notebooks

If you are a laptop owner, you know how frustrating it is to run out of battery when you’re nowhere near an electrical socket. No matter how long your battery life is, it’s certainly never enough. Other issues involving batteries have been known to include overheating, igniting and even exploding. Also, even if your laptop’s battery last for 5 or 6 hours, with the Wireless adapter turned on while you’re watching a movie and browsing the Internet, you can stop smiling smugly – in about two years or so, your battery will lose most of its maximum capacity, and your computer will die on you while you’re in the middle of a Lost episode.

However, efforts are being made in this delicate area of technology, to ensure that laptop users worldwide can enjoy their computers to the fullest, without dragging a cord around with them. In 2005, researcher Christina Lampe-Onnerud founded Boston-Power Inc., a company that aims to develop lithium ion batteries that can keep their maximum capacity for three years, without losing a minute.

Of course, the implications of such a discovery and, consequently, of such production, distribution and use are not only important when it comes to the laptop users’ comfort, but are vital to the environment. With batteries acting like new for such a long period of time, fewer batteries will be wasted, and replacements won’t be as necessary as before – or at least, not as often.

One company that has shown interest in Boston-Power Inc.’s novel idea is the world’s largest manufacturer of computers, namely HP. The company has announced that users may purchase green batteries from Boston-Power Inc.’s Sonata line as an upgrade for some of HP’s computers, as soon as 2009.


Read more!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

IBM, Harvard want your PC for solar power study

Scientists at Harvard University and IBM are hoping to harness the power of a million idle computers to develop a new, cheaper form of solar power that could revolutionize the green energy world.

Researchers have launched the project using IBM's World Community Grid, which taps into volunteers' computers across the globe to run calculations on a myriad of compounds -- potentially shortening a project that could take 22 years to just two years.

Harvard scientists are hoping the project will allow it to discover a combination of organic materials that can be used to manufacture plastic solar cells that are cheaper and more flexible than the silicon-based ones typically used to turn sunlight into electricity.

The technology could be used to coat windows, make backpacks or line blankets to produce electricity from the sun's rays.

Technology to make the plastic cells already exists, but they are not yet efficient enough to be rolled out in commercial products.

"It is not now cost efficient, although the materials are cheap because it's plastic," said Alan Aspuru-Guzik, a chemistry researcher at Harvard University.

The most efficient silicon-based photovoltaic solar cells convert about 20 percent of the sunlight that strikes them into electricity. For now, the organic cells can turn only about 5 percent of the sunlight into power -- half the level needed to make the low-cost cells a viable energy source.

The researchers plan to publish results of the work once they have discovered a possible combination of compounds.


IBM developed its World Community Grid to advance research of humanitarian projects, such as fighting cancer, dengue fever and AIDS. The grid connects computers in homes or offices via the Internet with program on each machine to run calculations that feed back to the database.

"It's a way for people that have computers to do some good for the world," said IBM engineer Joe Jasinski.

With more than a million volunteers currently linked to the World Community Grid, IBM said it had created a network with a massive calculating capability that would rank it among the top 10 most powerful supercomputers in the world.

Source: reuters.com

Read more!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Webroot offers free security hardware recycling

IT security firm Webroot has teamed up with recycling company Centillion to launch a Go Green (PDF) campaign, which offers to recycle legacy security hardware for free when customers sign up to Webroot's software-as-a-service (Saas) offering.

The new programme is available to any customer who replaces a security appliance or an on-premise security system with a Webroot SaaS security product.

As part of the deal, the company will send the customer a prepaid shipping label to transport the hardware to the closest Centillion facility in the UK.

"When we realised that the tremendous success of security SaaS solutions would be making hardware-based security obsolete, we took steps to provide a socially responsible alternative for recycling this influx of electronic waste, " said Peter Watkins, chief executive at Webroot.

"The move to the SaaS model will greatly reduce the need for on-premise hardware, which will help lower the amount of electronic waste and conserve energy."

Once the hardware has been properly recycled, the customer will receive a certificate of authentication to help with compliance.

"The European WEEE Directive calls for businesses to dispose of electronic and electrical equipment efficiently and safely, and we are excited to be working with Webroot on its Go Green computer initiative to aid those companies to become compliant with EU legislation," said Craig Millward, sales and marketing director at Centillion.

Estimates from the US Environmental Protection Agency suggest that 2.25 million tons of TVs, mobile phones and computer products have already been discarded in the US. Only 18 per cent, or 414,000 tons, was collected for recycling, and the remaining 1.84 million tons was sent to landfill sites in the US and third world countries.

Source: vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2231848/webroot-offers-free-security

Read more!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lenovo Introduces Two New ThinkCenter PCs

Lenovo today announced two new PCs, the ThinkCentre M58/58p and the ThinkCentre A57e, aimed at helping customers stretch their IT dollar.

The ThinkCentre M58/M58p is Lenovo’s greenest, most secure and most manageable ThinkCentre desktop PC yet with Power Manager1, a ThinkVantage technology that allows PC users to control their electricity consumption remotely, and available for the first time ever on a ThinkCentre PC.

The ThinkCentre A57e, targeted at emerging markets, is perfectly suited for first time users that want a highly reliable, simple-to-use PC with accompanying services. Continuing Lenovo’s heritage of producing highly reliable PCs, it delivers rock solid quality and convenience by incorporating the latest ThinkVantage Technologies productivity and management tools.

“The design goal for the ThinkCentre M58/M58p was to be the greenest, most secure, most manageable and quietest ThinkCentre ever and we’ve achieved it in this eco-friendly powerhouse,” said Ronnie Lee, Country General Manager, Lenovo Singapore and Brunei. “And to meet the needs of this region’s emerging market and first-time-user needs, the ThinkCentre A57e gives businesses an affordable, hassle-free desktop solution.”

Greater Control, Greater Savings with Remote Power Management: ThinkCentre M58/M58p

The ThinkCentre’s M58/M58p’s Power Manager allows customers to save energy and lower electricity costs by enabling system administrators to monitor and remotely control the amount of electricity used by all Power Manager enabled desktops in a PC fleet. For example, PCs can be programmed to shut down evenings or weekends. Through the use of Power Manager and Intel vPro technologies, the ThinkCentre M58p provides the user with the lowest total cost of ownership of any ThinkCentre.

Further solidifying the ThinkCentre M58/M58p as one of the industry’s leading green computing solutions is the gold status achieved from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool organization, or EPEAT. Lenovo has a total of 24 ThinkCentre desktops that have become EPEAT Gold certified. EPEAT was created to provide a green standard for electronics purchases. The M58/M58p has also passed the stringent testing of GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, which probed for the presence of up to 2,000 potentially harmful contaminants, in addition to receiving the GREENGUARD Certification for Children & Schools, which takes into account children’s higher sensitivity to pollutants.

The ThinkCentre M58/M58p is also the first ThinkCentre PC to support Hardware Password Manager (HPM), which allows for oversight of user, supervisory, BIOS and HDD passwords. HPM is available in April, 2009 and requires a separate software purchase. Previous ThinkCentre versions of a password manager only allowed for password management at the software level. Additionally, the user can disable/enable USB and PS2 ports for complete “security” peace of mind.

Available in three form factors – Tower, Small Form Factor and Ultra Small Form Factor – the ThinkCentre M58p offers top performance with Intel vPro processing technology: Intel Core2 Duo E8x00 or Core2 Quad Q9xx0. The ThinkCentre M58 offers the Intel Q45 chipset with ICH10-DO. The ThinkCentre M5/M58p is also quieter and cooler than any previous ThinkCentre: across all form factors, it is up to six decibels quieter than the ThinkCentre M57/M57p and the hard drive and the processor power module run six and eleven percent cooler, respectively, than the M57/M57p. Embracing new technology, the M58/M58p is the first ThinkCentre with onboard Displayport.

The ThinkCentre M58/M58p comes with a limited, three-year onsite warranty with next business day service. End of life disposal solutions round out Lenovo’s commitment to green computing and preserving the environment. By doing so, customers may be able to receive cash back to offset the costs of future PC purchases, further lowering their total cost of ownership.

Built for Emerging Markets: ThinkCentre A57e

The ThinkCentre A57e continues Lenovo’s heritage of making highly reliable PCs and delivers rock-solid quality and convenience to customers by incorporating the latest ThinkVantange Technologies including Rescue and Recovery with Express Repair for recovering many system issues in 2-3 minutes and System Update that automatically downloads the latest updates over the Internet.

It provides emerging-market and first-time users access to the latest Lenovo technology and award-wining service and support at an attractive price point.

The ThinkCentre A57e incorporates the latest Intel technology with the Intel ATOM processor and is ideal for first time buyers looking at empowering their business with affordable, hassle free desktop solutions. Lenovo’s ThinkCentre A57e inherits the ThinkCentre’s ease-of-use design and is built to international quality standards with a stainless steel chassis for greater durability

Preloaded Windows Operating System and Microsoft Office (Trial)/Adobe Reader makes A57e ready for daily business use out of box.

The ThinkCentre A57e is designed to perform in severe environments making it ideal for first time PC users and customers in emerging markets. The hardworking Lenovo A57e delivers secure and reliable word processing capabilities while delivering social networking, photo and video entertainment functions that make it an ideal all round PC. The A57e comes with 1 year onsite support with options for a 3-year upgrade.

Related Links:

Lenovo Introdcing Energy Efficient and Green PC

Lenovo to launch "Blue Sky" green PC

Source: hardwarezone.com/news/view.php?id=12259&cid=11
Read more!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Acer Bringing Greener 'always-on' PC to United Kingdom

Taiwanese computer giant Acer has teamed up with CyberLink and Intel to bring a computer to the UK that you can leave on without having to feel too guilty about the environment.

The problem with media streamers is that they are far from green because of the need to leave them powered up.

However, the collaboration between the three companies should allow the Acer Aspire M5700 desktop to give a greener solution – using Intel's Remote Wake Technology and CyberLink's Live Premium remote media access web service.

Unnecessary PC power consumption

"We are pleased that Acer and CyberLink are supporting Intel Remote Wake Technology on the new Aspire M5700 Consumer PC with Cyberlink Live software allowing consumers to have anytime access to their digital content from connected devices while reducing unnecessary PC power consumption," said Intel's mobile platforms group Marketing Director Joseph Van De Water.

"Intel Remote Wake Technology provides the keys to unlocking the digital lifestyle needs of the mainstream and multimedia PC user by providing perfect balance of access and energy efficiency."

"Protect the Earth"

Obviously, leaving anything on is less energy efficient than turning it off, but Acer believe it is important that people who are likely to keep their machines powered up can take advantage of technology to minimise the impact.

"Acer is proud to work with Intel and Cyberlink to protect the Earth through Acer's Aspire M5700 desktop computer, said Acer's Allen Jong.

"By our joint efforts, users may access and enjoy their multimedia from anywhere, anytime.

"Moreover, this technology solution enables the user to play an active role in protecting our environment by reducing carbon dioxide and unnecessary electric usage."

Source: techradar.com/news/computing/acer-bringing-greener-always-on-pc-to-uk-490038

Read more!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Intel, HP Strengthen Green Computing Campaigns

Reaffirming their commitment to green computing, Intel and HP announced planet-saving initiatives at the "Greenergy" forum, a slight twist from the Synergy event that the two have been jointly organizing since 1997.

"There's been a lot of talk about efforts (that) everybody's doing, steps they are undertaking in terms of greening," said Ricky Banaag, Intel Technology Philippines Inc. country manager, who explained that Intel's approach to "eco-technology" is driven through four pillars: sustainable manufacturing, energy-efficient performance, design for the environment, and policy and industry.

According to Banaag, Intel has long been working on reducing the environmental impact of the company's operations through various initiatives like: solid waste and consumer recycling to reduce e-waste, packaging reductions of 16-40 percent which decreased number of shipments and fuel consumption, and the pursuit of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for fabrication plants and buildings, among many others.

In the next five years, Banaag said Intel has the following environmental goals: to reduce absolute global warming gas footprint by 2012 from 2007 levels; reduce energy consumption per chip 5 percent per year from 2007 through 2012; ensure that Intel products maintain energy efficiency for the next two product generations; reduce water use per chip by 2012 from 2007 levels; reduce generation of chemical waste per chip by 10 percent by 2012 from 2007 levels; and recycle 80 percent of chemical and solid waste generated per year.

Banaag also shared that Intel, along with Google and the World Wildlife Fund, has been actively promoting the Climate Savers Computing Initiative which aims to improve computing energy efficiency by 50 percent (by collectively saving $5.5 billion in energy costs) as well as to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by 54 million tons per year.

Meanwhile, HP has been just as busy with similar greening initiatives both internally and in the products that they come up with as they see more customers, especially enterprise consumers, are actually also beginning to look at what companies like HP are currently doing to promote greening.

Aside from its reduced energy consumption and recycling initiatives, HP has been coming up with flat panel displays instead of cathode ray tube (CRT) screens since the former are said to use less material and energy. The company has also been renewing its inkjet packaging and pouring in investments on energy-efficient product lines like the HP server processors, desk jet printers, laser jet printers, blade PCs, xw6400 workstation, and its servers and storage.

HP Philippines managing director David Tan shared that HP has collaborated with Dreamworks Animation in coming up with the Halo studio--a network of rooms that lets HP employees meet with colleagues from across the globe by providing life-size, real-time, eye-to-eye conferencing with no delay. According to Tan, use of the Halo studio in global HP offices has led to productivity gains and huge travel cost savings. Asked whether the HP office in the Philippines shall have a Halo studio set up as well, Tan said the Philippines is one of the countries recommended to install Halo, most likely by next year.

HP has also embarked on the "Planet Partners Program" which offers to take back end-of-life HP and non-HP computing equipment like PCs, handhelds, notebooks, servers, printers, etcetera, for recycling. According to Tan, HP has, in fact, recycled more than 250 million HP print cartridges worldwide since the inception of the Planet Partners program in 1991.

In the future, Tan says HP will continue to "green" its operations by reducing their combined product and operations energy use and associated greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 25 percent in 2010 and recover 2 billion pounds of computing and printing equipment by 2010.

Source: cio.in/news/viewArticle/ARTICLEID=5800014

Read more!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Eco-Friendly Batteries for Your Electronics

We offer a great selection of eco-friendly batteries, including offerings from USBcell and Sanyo. The USBcell line of AA batteries work just like normal rechargeables, but you can simply pop off the lid to recharge by any powered USB port. The Eneloop batteries from Sanyo–which come pre-charged, so they can be used right out of the pack–have an extremely low self-discharge rate, with the ability to maintain 85 percent of residual capacity after one year of storage and 70 percent after two years.

Plus, Eneloop batteries can be charged up to 1,000 times without experiencing an effect on chargeability.

Check here for more info

Via: greencp.com/eco-friendly-batteries-for-your-electronics/

Read more!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Green Computing: Sun Launches Low-Power Storage Tech

Green Products
Data storage systems — computers that enable companies to store and access large amounts of data — might be a bit of a dry topic for a Monday morning. But this morning, computing company Sun Micro systems is launching a new set of data storage products that use open source and solid-state memory drives to cut their energy consumption to one quarter that of traditional data storage systems.

Solid state drives have no moving parts and require less power to operate than mechanical disk drives. While solid state drives aren’t used as commonly in current storage systems, Sun says that a smaller energy bill, combined with standard hardware and an open source system, means the storage product — dubbed the 7000 or Amber Road family — can offer cost savings of 75 percent compared with competing storage technology.

For customers, the eco-aspect is likely overshadowed by the overall cost savings, but the large amount of power consumed by computing is an increasingly important issue. The electricity used by servers alone doubled between 2000 to 2005 to about 123 billion kilowatt-hours, or about 1 percent of the world’s electricity use, according to Jonathan Koomey, a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and Stanford University. Koomey says going forward computing will only become a worse power hog, potentially sucking up 45-76 percent more electricity in 2010 than in 2005.

Sun’s storage products are a bright spot of innovation in some difficult times. The company’s revenue fell 7 percent and it posted a net loss of almost $1.7 billion in the most recent quarter. While Sun’s storage business is tiny compared to that of HP or EMC, it is one of the fastest growing parts of the company.


Read more!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Apple Touts 'Greenest Family Of Notebooks Ever'

Apple is proclaiming its latest line of MacBooks as "the greenest family of notebooks ever made." Could this set off another front in the 'I'm A Mac, I'm A PC' wars withMicrosoft and PC makers?

In the 30-second spot, Apple says that the redesigned MacBooks unveiled in October are free of mercury and other harmful toxins found in other PCs, and have cases made of recyclable aluminum and glass. MacBooks are also engineered to run on a quarter of the power of a single light bulb, Apple notes.

In addition to using mercury-free LED technology and arsenic-free glass, Apple, in an environmental update posted to its Web site, says it has removed brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and PVC from the MacBook as well as the Apple LED Cinema Display, iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano and iPhone 3G.

Apple has been criticized for its stranglehold on hardware and software, but that's one of the reasons the company gives for being able to design MacBooks to use less electricity and earn Energy Star certification.

Apple appears to have improved its environmental image since last October, when Greenpeace issued a scathing report that claimed the iPhone contains hazardous chemicals in both its external and internal components.

It's unclear how many consumers actually based purchasing decisions on a vendor's environmental track record, but it can be an important part of convincing a customer to purchase a higher-end Apple machine, says Erick Laabs, vice president of The Mac Store, a Portland, Ore.-based Apple reseller.

"This type of marketing can help make it easier for a customer to justify an Apple notebook over a cheaper Windows-based PC," Laabs said.

It's possible that the green MacBook ads could be the beginning of a campaign to juxtapose Apple's progressive environmental policies with those of its plodding, backward competitors. It has been done before, with great effectiveness.

Greenpeace applauded Apple's elimination of some toxic materials in the latest MacBooks, but the environmental organization dropped Apple's ranking from 10th to 14th in its recently released December 2008 Guide To Greener Electronics.

Greenpeace asserts in the report that despite some companies' progress, the IT industry has a long way to go when it comes to being environmentally friendly.


Read more!

Monday, November 24, 2008

First eco-friendly computer developed in Ireland

MicroPro Computers LTD invented the iameco computer, which has been built from bio-degradable wood panels left over from waste products in the lumber and pulp industry.

The computer uses one third less energy than typical everyday computers, with the biodegradable equipment also capable of being used in the manufacturing of equipment such as keyboards and computer monitor casing.

Paul Maher, managing director of MicroPro, said that the energy efficiency of the computer is not the only positive aspect it has on the environment.

"Our business is built around green technologies and using them to produce healthier, more energy-efficient and cheaper computers that have less impact on the environment," he said.

"One advantage of iameco is that when the components are buried in landfill the wood gets wet, breaks down and new plants begin to grow from old computers."

The Irish company is based in the Rathfarnham area of South Dublin and was established in 1990.


Read more!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dublin First with Eco-Computer

World’s First Eco-Computer Produced in Dublin.

The world’s first biodegradable computer has been produced in Dublin. The iameco computer is built from bio-degradable wood panels manufactured from waste products from the lumber and pulp industry.

Inventors of iameco, MicroPro Computers Ltd explained to the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Jimmy Devins T.D, how they can implant the seeds of native-tree species into these wood panels when he visited the company today to announce details of a new Enterprise Ireland Green Technology Support for businesses.

“Our business is built around green technologies and using them to produce healthier, more energy-efficient and cheaper computers that have less impact on the environment”, said Paul Maher, MD of MicroPro. One advantageof iameco is that when the components are buried in landfill the wood gets wet, breaks down and new plants begin to grow from old computers”.

In addition to the iameco computer, which uses one third less energy than regular computers, the biodegradable wood can also be used to manufacture the computer monitor casing, keyboard and mouse.

Minister Devins was on a visit to MicroPro Computers Ltd in Rathfarnham, Co Dublin to learn how the Irish owned company has used Enterprise Ireland supports to produce the world’s first eco-computer.

Commenting on the success of iameco, Minister Devins said: “The iameco computer story is a true example of innovation at work. Not only have MicroPro Computers developed a new, profitable product range but consumers now have the option of buying an environmentally friendly computer or TV’

‘Green technologies offer many opportunities to companies to innovate and save money. Enterprise Ireland’s GreenTech Support can help companies find ways to reduce air pollution and effluents, conserve water and save energy in the workplace as well as come up with new environmentally friendly products” he concluded.

Green PC, Green Computer, Green Technology

Source: irishdev.com/Home/News/167-Dublin-First-with-EcoComputer.html
Read more!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cell Phone Makers Go Green With Chargers

The five major cell phone manufacturers launched Wednesday a common energy rating system for chargers that's designed to enable customers to choose the most energy-efficient charger.

The new rating system will be star-based, and it will show how much power chargers use when left plugged into the wall but disconnected from the phone. The ratings are based on the European Commission's energy standards for chargers, as well as the Energy Star standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The rating system was developed and will be supported by LG,Motorola, Nokia, Samsung Electronics, and Sony Ericsson.

Customers will be able to visit each cell phone manufacturer's Web site to see and compare the results for every charger. The companies said that most consumers are unaware of much energy a charger uses when it's left plugged into a wall.

"If the more 3 three billion people owning mobile devices today switched to a four- or five-star charger, this could save the same amount of energy each year as produced by two medium-sized power plants," Nokia said in a statement.

The companies have been taking steps to help solve this problem, and they have made power chargers more energy efficient as well as implemented power-alert systems. Motorola said it has been able to reduce average standby energy use by at least 70% since 2000.

There's also a crop of new companies that are looking for alternative ways to charge a cell phone. M2E Power is working on a motion-powered charging product that could provide about 60 minutes of talk time after six hours of motion. Additionally, solar- and wind-powered chargers have also popped up.


Read more!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Some Important Tips For Buying Green PC

Green PC refers to the system where the equipments used are entirely environmental friendly. The main aspiration of Green IT is to diminish the use of harmful products while maximizing the efficiency of the system. The Green PC is an integral ingredient of Green IT. The concept of Green IT is not very new for the IT users, but still it has not been adapted by all. Many consumers are there who are willing to buy an environmental friendly machine, but they are not aware how to accomplish this. According to a recent survey, about 7 in 10 consumers say they are still willing to spend up to 20 percent more for "green" sustainable products. So, here I am going to provide a user guide to buy a green PC.

Processors and chipsets: A computer system is made up of mainly two ingredients – Processors and chipsets. Use of an efficient chipset can make your pc more environmental friendly. Some energy saving processors in the market are AMD Athlon 64 or Intel Core 2-series processor, the latest Athlon X2 and Core 2 stepping reduce power considerably over its earlier products. The latest processor series Plethora of Core 2 by Intel is another energy saving series, while some energy consuming processors are Netburst-era Pentium 4s and Athlon 64 X2s.

So, if you are going to buy a new processor, take care about the choice of processor.

Video cards: Another efficient way to conserve energy is with the use of integrated videos with motherboard. The use of separate video card consumes more energy. Motherboards spitting out integrated video via DVI or HDMI aren't that hard to find, so power-users with their massive LCDs don't have to suffer.

Generally, a video card is required for gaming purposes and foe decent 3D performance, but this dilemma can be overcome by using AMD Radeon HD 3850 processor as it draws only 13.5W energy when idle as compare to other processors like NVIDIA 8800 GT and NVIDIA G92.

Power supply: Power supplies are the component of a computer that supplies power to the rest of the parts in a computer system. The amount of power supply is directly proportional to the data installed. So, it is a smart option to store only required data in a computer and attach only required devices to it.

Computer size: Notebooks are less prone to waste energy, so they are called as the most power efficient as well. Secondly, they are made to run on battery and hence as a result saves energy most of the time. So, notebook users today can save more energy and can promote the concept of greenest computers well.

A general Guide for Green IT Solutions: Here, I am going to present a buyer guide for Green IT Solutions.

• Purchase EPEAT-registered computers and monitors. These are by definition qualified by Energy Star.

• Always purchase Energy Star qualified office equipment.

• Activate power management features on computers and monitors

• Avoid hazardous material

• Recycle it

Source: itvoir.com/portal/boxx/knowledgebase.asp?iid=1287&Cat=23

Read more!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Three Important Steps to Improve Laptop Battery Life

Like chocolate and episodes of Mad Men, there's no such thing as too much battery life. Alas, it's the rare notebook battery that'll give you more than a few hours-unless you know some tricks for squeezing extra juice. Remember these three tips the next time you travel:

Disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Few airplanes offer Wi-Fi (yet), so turn off your notebook's power-sucking Wi-Fi radio. Same goes for Bluetooth.

Drop the screen brightness You can afford to keep screen brightness cranked up when your notebook is plugged into an outlet, but not when you're flying coach. Drop the brightness setting a few notches, then get back to work. Chances are you'll hardly notice the difference. Then drop it a few more notches. The lower, the better.

Watch downloads, not DVDs Notebooks are great for watching movies, but DVD drives consume a considerable amount of power. Therefore, leave the DVDs behind and choose digital downloads instead. Stock your hard drive with movies from Amazon or iTunes and you'll be able to watch longer. Don't want to pay for movies you already own? Use a tool like Handbrake to rip your DVDs, creating MPEG-4 files you can store on your hard drive (or put on your iPod, thus saving your notebook even more power).

Source: pcworld.com/article/153998/three_quick_ways_to_improve_laptop_battery_life.html

Read more!

Monday, November 17, 2008

eXpd8 Launches Monitor-Mounting GreenPC

Software-solution provider eXpd8 has decided to try its hand at the hardware market and has come up with an interesting nettop-like-system that it's calling the GreenPC.

The GreenPC, pictured right, takes after ASUS' Eee Box with its ability to mount onto the rear of any VESA-compatible display. Very convenient, and it makes for a clean and clutter-free setup - you'd barely notice it when attached to a 50in Plasma.

Unlike the ASUS Eee Box, however, eXpd8's GreenPC packs a fair amount of wallop - despite its "green" ambition. The system will be available in three distinct configurations; Pulse, Tempo and Cogent, and come equipped with Intel Atom, Intel Pentium and Intel Core 2 processors, respectively.

GreenPC Pulse, equipped with the 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom 330, is available with 2GB of RAM, a 160GB 2.5in hard-disk drive, a DVD burner and Windows Vista Home Premium for a reasonable €394 (£333).

It'll utilise on-board Intel GMA 950 graphics, and provide Gigabit Ethernet as well as four USB ports. Not a bad little solution, and one of the better-priced nettops currently available.

If you're in need of a little more oomph, say for 1080p video playback, Tempo or Cogent configurations may better suit. Cogent raises the bar with a 3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (upgradeable to a Core 2 Quad), 3GB of DDR2 memory, a 320GB hard-disk drive and improved graphics courtesy of the on-board Intel GMA 4500.

Priced from €679 (£574), it's an expensive but surprisingly powerful solution. We wouldn't go as far as calling it particularly "Green", though.

Source: hexus.net/content/item.php?item=16310

Read more!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Five Simple Ways to Get Started with Green IT

1. Buy Green.

Perhaps the easiest way to get started is to buy energy-efficient electronics when it's time to upgrade or purchase new equipment. Energy Star-rated computers, printers and other technology products use as much as 60 percent less electricity than standard equipment, according to the Energy Star Web site.

Over the next five years, Energy Star claims that these products will save Americans more than $5 billion dollars. Soft choice, a Toronto-based business-to-business reseller of IT products has designed a new site where you can compare and buy EPEAT products (EPEAT.net is a rating service for electronics that collaborates with Energy Star). The site includes a calculator to determine your energy savings from purchasing the energy-efficient products.

2. Manage Your Power

Take a look at your control panel on your desktop, and it’s likely you'll see everything you need in a few simple clicks to manage power better on your PC. Your business can save $45 per PC annually, simply through automatic shutdown capabilities, says Melissa Quinn, sustainability programs manager for Soft choice. (Read how GE, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, North Thurston Public Schools and others are saving as much as $75 per computer annually simply by activating power management).

Next Steps:

* To maximize power savings, the EPA recommends setting computers to enter system standby or hibernate after 30 to 60 minutes of inactivity.
* To save even more, set monitors to enter sleep mode after five to 20 minutes of inactivity.

If your equipment does not have power management features, you can download the free Energy Star Power Management Software.

3. Get a Professional Energy Audit and Track Energy Use.

Yes, this will cost you money – anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, according to Jerry Lawson, national manager of Energy Star. However, if your business is going to be around for a long time, hiring an auditor might be a wise investment. "We believe you can't manage what you can't measure," he says.

Next Steps:

* If an audit's simply not possible due to finances or lack of professional auditors in your local area, Lawson recommends reviewing The Energy Star "Sure Energy Savers" guidelines to help you start a program.
* To monitor your ongoing energy use, download the free Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool. (An ENERGY STAR private sector contractor maintains and updates the software for accuracy, and your information is password-protected for privacy).

4. Just Say 'No' to Paper

How many times have you printed out a 30-page document when you could have read it and made edits and comments to it through online tracking just as easily? It's a habit, yes – but a bad one that we all need to quit.

Next Steps:

* Use double-sided printing and copying
* Distribute documents electronically
* Create a portal site for sharing content
* Recycle what you must print
* Invest in digital signature technology and software that monitors paper usage by departments, Quinn suggested. Preo Software and PaperCut are two options.

5. Recycle and Disposal of E-waste

More Green Resources

» The Softchoice EcoTech Website

» EPA’s Electronics: A New Opportunity for Waste Prevention, Reuse, and Recycling Fact Sheet

» Energy Star "Putting Energy into Profits" Guide for Small Business

» EPEAT Webinars

Most people in the technology world know not to throw batteries into the garbage can – same for used printer cartridges, discarded cell phones, memory sticks, old or damaged laptops, and so on.

Most electronics that people currently own contain high levels of lead and other toxic materials that need to be handled appropriately so they don’t end up in a landfill and leach poisons into the soil and ultimately, our drinking water. (Fortunately, major tech vendors are increasingly making new equipment cleaner)

“Safe disposal is really important,” Quinn said. “Eighty percent of hardware gets dumped.”


Read more!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Easy Ways to Go Green with Your Computer

Not everyone can afford to install solar panels or get a new Prius this Earth Day, but there is one place you can go green without spending an arm and a leg or radically changing your lifestyle: your computer. Chances are you spend the majority of your day sitting in front of the keyboard, and a few small changes can go a long way toward reducing its negative impact on the environment. As an added bonus, doing your part for the environment will save you money, too. This Earth Day, we've rounded up a few simple ways you can go green with your computer.

Shutdown Your Computer Without Losing the Perks of an Always-On PC
Green Computer

Obviously, computers require electricity to run, so shutting down, sleeping, or hibernating your computer when you're not using it conserves energy. Every modern operating system has its own settings for conserving power, so the first thing you should do—if you haven't already—is open the power settings of your green computer and set them for optimal energy use. Set your computer to put your monitor to sleep, spin down your hard drives, and put your computer to sleep when you're not using it. Even better, since your computer uses less power when hibernating than when sleeping, set up your computer to hibernate rather than just go to sleep.

One of the biggest turn-offs (no pun intended) about shutting down or sleeping your computer is that you miss out on some of the finer things your computer provides even when you're away. For example, if you're downloading a large file, you may want the download to continue even when you're away. Likewise, we've covered tons of ways to remotely access your computer, all of which no longer work if your computer's turned off. Luckily you can continue using your computer during these times but still conserve power the rest of the time.

For example, Windows users should check out previously mentioned WinOFF, which shuts down, restarts, and hibernates your computer (among other things) after a certain amount of time, at a specific time, or when your CPU goes idle so that your computer automatically shuts off at times you don't need it.

If a download is what you're waiting for, many peer-to-peer clients, like the popular BitTorrent client uTorrent, can shutdown your computer when a download completes so you can get your file and save energy, too.

Between WinOFF and built-in shutdown features common to many apps, we've taken care of the the download problem—but what about when you want to access your computer remotely? If it's shut down, you can't very well get to it, can you? Actually, you can, assuming you set up Wake-on-LAN on your computer. Once Wake-on-LAN's enabled, you can turn your computer on over the internet from anywhere—so there's no reason not to shut down your computer when you leave the house.


Read more!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How Can We Save Money And The Environment With Our Servers?

In a world increasingly reliant on power-hungry complex carbon technology, the IT industry itself is initiating changes to reduce our impact on the environment – with data centres as the key driver.

As a supplier of robust data backup, effective disaster recovery and reliable internet connectivity , green data centres are a solution that few modern companies could succeed without. However, we’re also a major cause of carbon emissions.

Today responsible data centres are recognising how the technology we store and run can be better manager, streamlined and consolidated; reducing our own carbon footprint and that of our clients.

One of the biggest challenges for businesses seeking to reduce their carbon footprint is the vast amount of power used my modern servers, which is often compounded by the ‘tradition’ of network and IT managers to purchase a new server for each job, often hosting just a single website.

Under utilisation by as much as 98% is commonplace. Virtualisation technology is considered to be the saviour to this area.

Technology such as VMWare, Xen or Microsoft’s Viridian allows network managers to consolidate power hungry servers into multiple ‘virtual servers’ hosted on one or more physical host servers – claiming up to 80% reductions in energy consumption.

Using this technology, it’s possible to make huge savings in terms of both money and the environment.

For the future of our planet, it’s up to data centres to ensure the right advice and green solutions are right there in clients’ doorsteps. And it’s up to businesses to consider their social and corporate responsibilities.

Working our exactly how much power you really need in your IT infrastructure is a good place to start.


Read more!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Eco-friendly PCs use less energy than lightbulbs

TechRadar had the pleasure of visiting this year's Green IT Expo in London today, where a number of new, green computers were being launched amidst a whole host of major IT brands, on hand to show off to (largely business) users their latest ways of developing eco-friendly and sustainable technologies and practices.

Amongst all the worthy talk of 'corporate social responsibility' (surely an oxymoron?) TechRadar noticed two new energy-saving PCs from Sheffield-based VeryPC and Essex-based outfit, Akhter Computers.

The Fulwood 'Full Monty'

First up, VeryPC's Fulwood is by far and away one of the cutest PCs on the market and is sure to appeal to users looking for a reasonably-specced PC that doubles up as media-centre AND uses around half the energy of Atom-based 'green PCs' while being around four times faster.

The Fulwood is basically around the size of a Mac mini and packs in an Intel P9500 2.53GHz dual core CPU, 2GB RAM, 250GB hard drive, Intel x4500HD graphics, DVDRW and a remote control – which is almost as big as the PC itself!

It runs Windows Vista Premium, has a DVI-VGA splitter for dual screen use and a HDMI output, so you can hook it up to your telly.

The Sheffield firm makes much of the 'Made In Sheffield' mark it proudly stamps on all of its products. (Fulwood is, incidentally, a posh Sheffield suburb, for those not in the know!)

When idle the machine uses only 17W and when running at full capacity, the Fulwood still only uses 27W – which make it easily the greenest PC currently available.

The machine is pretty quick and will even run (fairly) recent PC games, according to the manufacturers. Although we're not sure how it would handle Crysis or Fallout 3. But then again, if you want a games machine, energy-efficiency is not going to be at the top of your list of required USPs...

Mac mini looks

Perhaps its greatest selling point is that it looks the bee's knees and would not be out of place underneath your new HD TV sat next to your PlayStation.

The price is a slight sticking point, ranging from £868 - £1100 exclusive of monitor, keyboard and mouse, although if you are in the market for a good-looking, low-energy green PC to use as your entertainment hub, this really is by far the best option currently available to you.

Carbon-footprint awareness

The other British PC manufacturer touting its wares at the 2008 Green IT Expo was Akhter Computers showing off its LoCO2PC - the world's first Energy Star 4.0 approved all-in-one PC running an Intel Core2 Duo processor at 3.0GHz – which, at a starting price of £699, is sure to appeal to the more cost-conscious PC consumer with a conscience and awareness of green issues.

The LoCO2PC throws together a 19-inch LCD panel, Intel Core 2 Duo processor, stereo speakers, DVD writer and a 250GB hard-disk drive in a single, impressively thin (85mm) all-in-one package.

"It consumes around a third of the power of an older style PC," an Akhter rep told TechRadar, "which means you save around £100 to £200 over the course of the year per PC."

Quiet and efficient

The CPU is cooled by a proprietary copper pipe heat exchange system, which means that the PC is incredibly quiet, as well as being energy-efficient (using around 55 watts according to industry-standard Energy Star rating procedures).

So whether you opt for a slightly more expensive, ultra-fashionable VeryPC Fulwood or the more-affordable Akhter all-in-one, you can buy a decent new PC for under a grand that will also help you slash your power bills and keep your carbon footprint in check.

Via: techradar.com/news/computing/eco-friendly-pcs-use-less-energy-than-lightbulbs-482363

Read more!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Eco friendly computing: Keep it green with the Lawn PC

Eco friendly computing
This is one patch of grass you'll definitely need to keep off of. Despite what it may look like this isn't a computer/allotment with a real patch of grass sprouting out the top. The idea of the Lawn PC is so seriously far-fetched that it's obviously a concept - a futuristic solar powered concept. It's a completely wireless PC that gets rid of the need for an electrical outlet. This is where that peculiar patch of lawn comes in. As long as it's catching some rays, the grass will collect and store its own power from the solar cells embedded in it. Now the grass isn't the same stuff you'd find in your back garden, it's made form natural cotton fabric (so they're biodegradable) which carries inkjet printed solar cells.

The hundred of blades produce all the power your green machine needs at the rate of around 60 watts per hour. The grass is also removable to enable you to keep up with system upgrades.

Its innards are green too, with a CPU made from plastics infused with bio batch additives. Perplexed? Well, basically this material allows the plastic to decompose when you're ready to dispose of it, when the next big thing comes along perhaps, or you've had enough of insects thinking it's a real patch of grass. There's no need for a fan either, the natural air flow between the strands of grass is enough to keep it cool. Like any plant, the Lawn PC needs plenty of air and sunlight, but obviously not water, unless you want to see what happens when water and computer equipment combine.

Green PC, Green Computer

It even connects wirelessly to the monitor. Due to the lack of wireage the Lawn PC could essentially and easily be placed anywhere to receive the optimal amount of light. And like most solar powered gadgets a backup plug will be supplied.

Who knew the power of grass could be so potent? If designer David Veldkamp has anything to do with the future of green PC's, they're going to be green.


Read more!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An Eco-friendly PC from Eurocom

Eurocom has done it again with its innovative designs. This time instead of a desktop replacement notebook, which is their specialty, it is an Eco-friendly PC or the green desktop.

What ever you want to call it, this all-in-one product basically eliminates the mouse completely. Its touch screen technology enables users to navigate the screen and open and close documents and programs with the touch of a finger or with a stylus (included).

This is a new way of computing and it does take some time to get a feel for it, but I have to stay it was a totally natural way of interfacing with the computer.

Now, you still need a keyboard. The Eurocom unit does not come with a keyboard and I can see where the company is coming from. However, it was impossible to operate the PC with out it.

For example, you still needed to type in your password for the wireless Internet connection. Finding a digital keyboard on Windows XP was too hard and too time consuming and it would not be a natural way of computing in my opinion.

The only other problem with the Eco-friendly PC is that you cannot shut off the screen while still operating the computer. It forces you to shut down the system each time you want to stop.

But that is it. With this unit, Eurocom claims it has the most energy efficient/recyclable product on the market. And, they just might. CDN has not done a product comparison on these products. To be fair, we haven't seen other vendors produce a similar type product. So kudos goes to Eurocom for being innovative.

The Eco-friendly PC was made with a low carbon footprint in mind. It uses just 53 watts to operate and can go as high as 74 watts. To give you an idea of how low this is, the average desktop PC consumes between 300 to 400 watts of power when it is fully operational.

The product is made of 100 per cent recycled parts. It weights just under 10 Kg. and it can be quite portable. I moved the unit with ease to many areas of the office and at home. The small form factor (450mm width x 312mm length and 66.5mm height) gives users a lot of workspace room.

At a price tag of $1,299 for the 19-inch mode of the Eurocom Eco-friendly PC, this product comes at a reasonable price considering all the advantages users would get with reduced consumption rates.


Read more!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Lenovo Extends Green IT Service to Europe

Lenovo has launched a new service called "Green IT' aimed at making better green practices more appealing to businesses in Europe.

The company's new Asset Recovery Service will give organizations signing up to the plan a way to get rid of their old technology in an environmentally friendly and convenient way.

The service offers computer take-back, data destruction, refurbishment and recycling, as well as a cash-back provision to help offset the cost of the service.

Lenovo estimates that after the standard three-year refresh cycle, the average customer can receive 10 to 15 per cent of the value back of what the computers cost them originally.

The company will first try to refurbish and reuse the systems it collects, but failing that it will turn to recycling.

Lenovo introduced a similar service in the US and Canada back in June and expects that adding this service to its existing take-back programmes in this part of the world will help grow customer returns by more than 30 per cent.

As well as getting rid of old IT equipment, Lenovo offers additional services including inventory, value assessment, on-site de-installation and data encryption.


Read more!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dell Turns to Recycled Plastic, Thin Client for Green Computers

From the people who brought you the bamboo computer come two new greener computers: a new desktop made partially out of recycled plastic water bottles, and Dell’s first thin-client computer, a minimalist PC designed to access remote apps and data.

Recycled water bottles? That’s how Dell is pitching its new OptiPlex 960, announced this morning, which uses at least 10 percent post-consumer recycled plastic in its casing. “That’s about the equivalent of three plastic water bottles,” Curtis Campbell, the OptiPlex’s product manager, tells us. The 960 is part of Dell’s launch this morning of a whole new line of “greener” OptiPlex computers, a series aimed mostly at institutional buyers.

Beyond the greener materials, the OptiPlex also boasts higher energy performance with a redesigned power supply that’s 88 percent more efficient than previous desktops, and reduced and recycled packaging. All this means the desktop has achieved EPEAT Gold and Energy Star 4.0 ratings (just like Apple’s newest Mac line.) For large buyers like government organizations and schools, more efficient computers are important for their financial and environmental bottom lines.

Dell’s first thin-client computer, the OptiPlex FX160, is a stripped-down terminal designed for users accessing files and applications running remotely on a local server or in the cloud. The future of greener home computers will probably look more like the FX160 than the rest of the OptiPlex line as more services move into the cloud and users can accomplish more within their browser. This could mean fewer constantly spinning hard drives and less power wasted on unnecessary cooling, which could be better for global warming.


Read more!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

HP announces “green” Pavilion desktops

HP has announced two special-edition green desktops, which will be available only at Circuit City and Best Buy stores, and updated the configurations of its current desktops sold direct. The company also announced a 25.5-inch LCD display with lots of extras.

As with most things, to go green you have to give up a little. Both Verde Special Edition desktops are based on AMD processors that do indeed draw less power than the typical high-end chips found in most desktops–but they also offer a lot less performance. HP says the systems also have advanced power management features that reduce energy use by up to 45% and they come in packaging made of 100% recycled material.

The two configurations are:

HP Pavilion Verde Special Edition a6645f

* 2.50GHz AMD Athlon X2 4850e dual-core processor
* Up to 5GB of memory
* Nvidia GeForce 6150 SE graphics with 128MB
* 500GB hard drive
* SuperMulti DVD burner with LightScribe
* Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit edition with SP1
* Available on November 9 at Circuit City, starting at $579

HP Pavilion Phoenix Special Edition a6655f

* 1.80GHz AMD Phenom X4 9150e quad-core processor
* Up to 5GB of memory
* Nvidia GeForce 6150 SE graphics with 128MB
* 640GB hard drive
* Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit edition with SP1
* SuperMulti DVD burner with LightScribe
* Available on November 9 at Best Buy, starting at $659

Some of these choices–DDR2 memory, discrete Nvidia graphics and 7,200rpm drives–seem puzzling for a green PC since there are other options that should use less power, but DDR3 memory is still relatively expensive.

The 25.5-inch HP w2558hc Vivid Color Display includes a 2MP Webcam, 15-in-1 card reader (that can display video or pictures when the PC is off), HDMI input, multiple USB ports and built-in speakers. It is currently available direct or in retail stores for $599.

HP also updated the configurations of its HP Compaq Presario, HP Pavilion, HP Pavilion Slimline and HP Pavilion Elite desktops available at HP Direct.


Read more!

Friday, October 24, 2008

HP Intros Green PCs

HP is stressing environmental virtues in two new desktop PCs that use less power, and come in packaging that is more recyclable than before. The HP Pavilion Verde Special Edition a6645f and HP Pavilion Phoenix Special Edition a6655f (C$649.99) desktop PCs are ENERGY STAR qualified and meet the standards for Silver registration in the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), thanks to the use of AMD energy-efficient processors and advanced power management features that provide up to 45 per cent energy savings compared to PCs without power management enabled. In addition, they come in 100 percent recyclable packaging with less plastic foam.

Both special-edition desktop PCs offer up to 5GB of memory, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit edition with Service Pack 1, a front-panel 15-in-1 memory card reader, and a SuperMulti DVD burner with LightScribe technology for etching custom labels and artwork directly onto discs.

The HP Pavilion Phoenix Special Edition a6655f desktop PC features a design symbolizing the mythical phoenix, and includes an energy-efficient AMD Phenom X4 9150e Quad-Core Processor and 640 GB hard drive. The HP Pavilion Verde Special Edition a6645f desktop PC has a nature-inspired pattern on the chassis and includes an energy-efficient AMD Athlon X2 4850e Dual-Core Processor and 500 GB hard drive.

Either can be mated to HP’s new 25.5” widescreen model HP w2558hc Vivid Color Display (C$599) that includes a built-in 15-in-1 card reader for easily viewing slideshows and videos, even when the PC is turned off, as well as a built-in two-megapixel Webcam. It also has multiple USB ports and digital outputs and HDMI inputs. In keeping with the green theme, the HP w2558hc is ENERGY STAR qualified and offers a Power Saver feature to help reduce energy consumption.


Read more!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

HP's 'Verde' Desktops Say 'Green PC'

On Monday, HP announced a pair of new Energy Star desktops and a new color display designer designed to reduce the impact on the environment.

The HP Pavilion Verde Special Edition a6645f and HP Pavilion Phoenix Special Edition a6655f desktop PCs are powered by AMD's energy-efficient processors and have recyclable packaging.

Both Pavilion Special Edition PCs have Energy Star qualifications and meet the criteria for EPEAT's Silver rating. The HP Pavilion Phoenix Special Editon a6655f desktop PC starts at $659 without monitor, and is powered by a quad core AMD Phenum X4 9250e processor, 640-Gbyte hard drive and a DVD burner. The HP Pavilion Verde Special Edition a6645f desktop PC starts at $579 without monitor, and is powered by a dual core AMD Athlon X2 4850e processor and 500GB hard drive.

The Verde edition is a Circuit City exclusive and ships with a "nature-inspired" design on its front panel, while the Phoenix Edition is exclusive to Best Buy and comes with a "stunning design symbolizing the mythical phoenix". Both systems will be available on November 9.

HP also announced the 25.5-inch HP w2558hc Vivid Color Display with a built-in webcam and 15-in-1 digital media card reader. The w2558hc has multiple USB ports, built-in speakers, and HDMI inputs to support your digital life. The monitor is also Energy Star qualified and is available now through HP Direct and select retailers for $599.

In other PC news, Gateway announced the 233137, a trendy, stylish laptop for about $1,000, which PC Magazine called "the best-looking one in the company's history".


Read more!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Green PC for SMBs

ASUS in association with Intel has launched Eee Box, a power-efficient computing solution. The desktop PC consumes 90% less power than normal desktop PCs with only 26 decibels sound emission and uses Intel Atom N270 (1.6 GHz) processor.

According to the company, the product is targeted at the SMBs and the home users segment in India.

The ASUS thermal solution integrates a heat dissipation module with the AI fan - allowing quiet (26db) and comfortable computing. The Eee Box also utilizes green design and is made with eco-friendly materials for reduced CO2 emissions and conforms to stringent RoHS and WEEE standards.

With ASUS' boot technology, Express Gate, users can easily access the Internet, manage pictures or communicate over IM/Skype just 7 seconds after boot up. It also supports WiFi 802.11n wireless standard - providing up to six times faster connectivity than previous 802.11b/g wireless. Users can download a 30 minute video in only 44 seconds.

OS: Microsoft Windows XP Home
CPU: Intel Atom N270 (1.6 GHz)
Chipset: Intel Chipset
HDD: 80 GB
Card Reader: SD/SDHC/MS/MS Pro/MMC
WiFi: 802.11b/g/n
LAN: 10/100/1000
Accessories: Keyboard and mouse

The Eee Box is available at Rs. 6,490/ exclusive of taxes.


Read more!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Slick new ‘green’ PC from HP demonstrates CSER

New PC from HP shows why green thinking is good for business as Amy Fetzer discovers

HP’s slick new TouchSmart PC doesn’t look green with its sleek touch screen technology designed to tempt style-conscious consumers looking for cutting-edge gadgets. Yet under its shiny black casing, the TouchSmart has impressively green credentials. Its power management technology can reduce PC energy use by up to 45%; it arrives in 100% recyclable packaging with more paper and less plastic foam for easier recycling; and the machine itself uses 55% less metal and 37% less plastic than standard PCs and monitors*. It is also Energy Star and EPEAT™ registered at silver level.

The success of the TouchSmart in marrying style with substance demonstrates the important role that corporate psychology plays in bringing CSER (Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility) principles into projects to ensure they become an integral part of the process.

By adopting an attitude which aimed for the ideal, viewed obstacles as challenges, and which kept environment considerations at the heart of the design process, the team behind the TouchSmart were able to think outside of the box to create a product that broke new ground both in terms of cutting edge functionality and environmental performance.

This combination of style, market-leading functionality and environmental performance is an excellent example of the symbiosis which often exists between the environment, design, functionality as the team found time and time again that designing for the environment had numerous paybacks. For example, by looking at ways to reduce energy use, the team looked to minimise waste heat. This in turn reduced noise and improved reliability as overheating is a common cause of computer malfunction.

Smashing the status quo Companies, like people, become accustomed to established systems that aren’t always the most efficient or effective. The way to drive innovation and improve efficiencies is to forget the status quo and to question everything.

‘We said, forget any constraints, let’s look at this on an ideal basis - what would we do if we could do anything?’ explains Ken Bosley, the HP Brand manager on the TouchSmart project.

‘We asked: “What’s the best way, what’s the obstacle, why aren’t we doing it?” Usually the answer to “Why aren’t we doing this?” was “We’re not sure!” so we decided to find out.’

For example, the desire for slender, sexy product not only increases consumer appeal, but the resulting reductions in material use, packaging materials, and increased transport efficiencies are good for the environment and the bottom line as fewer materials mean lower costs while ultimately creating a smaller, more flexible and more appealing product for the consumer.

‘The gains made on the TouchSmart, both in terms of technology and packaging, are now being fed back into the mainstream HP production line. For example, we’re now trying to incorporate more cardboard usage in to the packaging of our mainstream products and looking at ways we can utilise energy efficiencies.’

Design for the real world

Many products are designed for ideal environments that don’t actually reflect real world practice. Yet designing products for real life consumer behaviour can have massive benefits. For example, the TouchSmart made massive energy savings by focussing on the sleep mode. Research had demonstrated that consumers leave their IT idle for long periods yet don’t utilise the power-saving sleep mode as they find it cumbersome. Recognising this, the TouchSmart default was set to sleep after 15 minutes of being idle, while considerable effort was put into making it wake up in just three seconds. This rapid resume is essential. Otherwise, the customer will just change the default settings and stop the PC from going to sleep at all.

In addition, the design team were driven by the knowledge that although many materials, like the EPS foam often used in IT packaging, are recyclable, the lack of local recycling markets can mean it winds up in landfill. In addition, customers prefer the ease that comes with recycling just one material. This led the team to cardboard because it has the highest recycling value.

Creating robust cardboard packaging was a massive challenge, and inevitably created extra work, but the design team were soon motivated by the challenge of creating packaging that not only could be 100% recycled but that would be recycled.

‘We asked questions like, “Why do we have an accessory box and cushions? Why can’t the cushions be the accessory boxes? Why do we have two of these?”’ explains Bosley. ‘When we started to question why we weren’t using more cardboard already, we discovered it was because we didn’t know if it would pass all of our drop tests. So we did all the drop tests. And it failed first time, but so did the foam first time, so we didn’t let that put us off. So we went back to drawing board and tried and tried again until we succeeded.’

The hard work paid off with the creation of 98% cardboard packaging for the TouchSmart, and this single material cardboard design is now being applied to the mainstream PC box.

However, a real world approach also led some frustration. Knowing that the box is often the only means of communicating with the consumers, the design team weren’t prepared to compromise on the signature HP ‘black box’ design. ‘It was very frustrating,’ says Bosley, ‘because the most environmentally friendly scenario is if there was no printing on the cardboard box. If you print anything at all, it’s the same as if you print the whole thing. There is no way we would sell products with a blank box so that wasn’t feasible. We looked into doing a printed sleeve on a plain brown box, but after doing further research, it seemed that overall, it was better to print on the box itself.

Weighing up the options

There were some areas where the design team had to reluctantly accept defeat. One of these was screen, which would use mercury-free LEDs rather than fluorescent backlights in an ideal world. Unfortunately, this was too costly to implement at the moment, but with LEDs becoming more and more affordable, it’s likely to be a temporary setback.

The vagaries of the international shipment process also meant that despite all the efforts to avoid using foam packaging, it was necessary in countries which use single box shipments, rather than multiple pallets. This was because the cardboard packaging was not shock absorbent enough to protect the product in transit in single shipments. However the team is viewing this as a short-term set back and they’ve pledged to keep working on developing a higher grade cardboard packaging.

Another problem the team grappled with was more fundamental. ‘You can’t get away from the fact that an energy efficient computer is still going to be a piece of e-waste eventually,’ says Bosley. ‘However, we did everything we could to make sure the TouchSmart was designed to make it easily disassembled for recycling so the plastic parts can be separated from the metal. We’ve tried to incorporate these factors into the design as much as possible.

Source: csr-news.net

Read more!