Green computing is the design, manufacture, use and disposal of computers, chips, other technology components and peripherals in a way that limits the harmful impact on the environment including reducing carbon emissions.
Green computing is the practice of implementing eco friendly tactics into the use of computers and their daily functions to correlate to the environmental actions necessary to cultivate greater sustainability.
Every aspect of modern information technology – from the smallest chip to the largest data centre – carries a carbon price tag, and green computing seeks to reduce that carbon price tag.
Many IT manufacturers and vendors are continuously investing in designing energy-efficient computing devices, reducing the use of dangerous materials and encouraging the recyclability of digital devices.
For example, one of the biggest things that manufacturers do is improve the energy efficiency of chips in various computing devices. This is because these chips will help to ensure that the rest of the computer system runs smoothly, efficiently, and ultimately more effectively – all of which can help to reduce the use of energy, improve performance, and help the device to be more sustainable.
Settings like sleep mode, screen saver, and low-power mode are all extremely viable and effective energy saving tactics that manufacturers should incorporate into settings before selling the product. This way, the user of the green computing device doesn’t have to think about how they can adjust their device to be more energy efficient – because the manufacturer will have already done it for them.
What can we do as individuals?
Green computing isn’t only for large organisations, you can play an important part in improving sustainability in the world of IT as well. When many individuals make the choice to use functions like hibernate or sleep mode, the impact can be huge.
If millions of people around the world set their laptops to sleep mode every fifteen minutes – it would dramatically reduce the need for them to charge their laptops, and result in a globally reduced carbon footprint. All in all, green computing is a great example of how one small change can make a big difference.
One simple step toward efficiency is to make sure things are turned off. Central processing units (CPU) and peripheral equipment such as printers should be powered down when not in use. Scheduling blocks of time for specific tasks like printing means peripherals are only in use when they are needed.
Refilling printer cartridges rather than purchasing new ones produces less waste and buying refurbished equipment rather than buying new reduces environmental impact. Safe disposal of electronic equipment improves sustainability and has security advantages.