Cheat Sheet

Green Home Computing For Dummies

From Green Home Computing For Dummies by Woody Leonhard, Katherine Murray

Being green with your home computing practices starts with reducing the amount of power you spend on your home computer. Deciding to buy a new green home computer involves research and recycling your old computer in an environmentally safe manner. Reducing our CO2 emissions involves understanding how and how much our actions impact the planet.

Tips to Reduce Your Home Computer’s Power

Reducing the amount of power your computer uses conserves resources and lowers CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions. Here are some guidelines that can help you cut back on the energy your home computer consumes:

Assess the power your computer uses. Get a smart power meter or plogg.
Turn it off when you’re away for 2 hours or more. Use smart power strips.
Reduce the number of peripherals you use. Upgrade the memory in your system.
Unplug unused peripherals. When you buy a new system, buy green.
Use power management features.

Helpful Resources for Buying Green Home Computer Equipment

Want to purchase environmentally friendly home computing equipment but don't know where to turn? Use the following resources to green up your home computer and cut your energy costs:

  • EPEAT

  • Energy Star

  • Climate Counts

  • Look for the Good Housekeeping Green Seal of Approval

  • Check out the manufacturer’s Web site (What is their green policy?)

Do’s and Don’ts of Home Computer Recycling

To stop the growing problem of e-waste (illegally discarded computers), use the green practice of recycling. The following list outlines what you can and can't do with your old home computer:

  • Do check a site like Earth911.com to find green recyclers in your area.

  • Don’t put your computer out with the trash!

  • Do look for places to donate your computer.

  • Do wipe the hard disk clean before donating it.

  • Do buy computers from manufacturers with green policies.

  • Do recycle toner and inkjet cartridges.

  • Do share your story so others will recycle, too.

What Actions Add CO2 to the Environment?

Reducing our carbon footprint by lowering CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions means being aware of what daily activities pollute the environment and making better choices to reduce the impact you have on the planet. You certainly can't eliminate all the sources of CO2, (after all, you exhale carbon dioxide when you breathe!), but understanding where excess CO2 comes from can help you find ways to lower your carbon footprint. So, what’s adding CO2 to the air?

  • Driving your car

  • Taking a bus

  • Flying in a plane

  • Using your computer

  • Buying household supplies and food

  • Heating your home

  • Using electricity in your home

  • Using plastic bags or bottles

CO2 Emissions Measuring Tools

How much CO2 is going into the environment? If you’re wondering about how much carbon dioxide is released into the air from your actions, use these resources to find out:

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