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Computing with a Side of Green

Posted By Gaiam Staff On February 21, 2012 @ 11:53 am In Green Living, Green Tech | No Comments

Green Computers [1]By now, most greenies know that computers and their accessories are some of the biggest energy hogs in the home [2] — and that improperly recycled electronics can easily end up in toxic dumps in developing countries [3].

Want to make sure you’re doing right by Mother Earth when it comes to computers? Follow these three steps to green computing:

  • Plug your computer and all its peripherals — printers, speakers, monitors — into a power strip [4]. After you shut down your computer for the day, turn off the strip to cut off energy to the peripherals. For extra credit, use a device like the Smart Power Strip [5], which does most of the work for you. You plug your computer into a specially marked plug on the strip. The device then senses when you’ve turned off your computer and automatically cuts off power to other electronics connected to the strip.
  • When you’re looking to buy a new computer [6], use the EPEAT [7] website to guide your choice. EPEAT evaluates and ranks electronics based on more than 50 criteria, including the amount of energy the device consumes while it’s being used; how many toxic materials were involved in its manufacture; and whether its packaging can be recycled. Look for products with a gold or silver rankings.
  • When it comes to tossing old computer equipment, first check with your manufacturer to see if they have a takeback program. Some of these programs are free. Some charge fees, but they’re usually pretty small and well worth it to ensure your computer gets recycled responsibly [8]. If your manufacturer doesn’t take back its devices (increasingly rare), visit the Computer TakeBack Campaign website [9] to find a responsible recycler near you.*

* If you have sensitive information on your computer (even if you’ve deleted it), don’t forget to erase your hard drive before handing your computer over to a third party.

Learn more ways to green your lifestyle with sustainability videos on GaiamTV.com [10]!

Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com

URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/computing-with-a-side-of-green/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/Green-Computers.jpeg

[2] energy hogs in the home: http://life.gaiam.com/article/put-your-home-energy-diet

[3] toxic dumps in developing countries: http://www.gaiamtv.com/video/pollution?chan=GaiamLife&utm_source=GaiamLife&utm_medium=Web&utm_campaign=10day

[4] power strip: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Powering-Down.html

[5] Smart Power Strip: http://www.gaiam.com/product/smart+power+strip.do?SID=WG127SPRTAPEMACS&extcmp=life_prod

[6] buy a new computer: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Can-I-Upgrade-To-A-Green-Machine.html

[7] EPEAT: http://www.epeat.net/

[8] ensure your computer gets recycled responsibly: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/decembers-project-how-to-recycle-computers/

[9] the Computer TakeBack Campaign website: http://www.computertakeback.com/home/

[10] sustainability videos on GaiamTV.com: http://www.gaiamtv.com/category/environment/sustainability?chan=GaiamLife&utm_source=GaiamLife&utm_medium=Web&utm_campaign=10day

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