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Green Computing: Benefits of Eco-Friendly Computing

This is the paper submitted for National Conference on “Propelling Corporate India: Challenges & Strategies” organized by MSRIM, Bangalore on 12th and 13th August, 2010
This paper focuses on, “Green Computing,” which is especially important and relevant in today’s scenario when Electronic waste or e-waste is one of the rapidly growing environmental problems of the world. As computing becomes increasingly pervasive, the energy consumption attributable to computing is climbing, despite the clarion call to action to reduce consumption and reverse greenhouse effects. At the same time, the rising cost of energy — due to regulatory measures enforcing a “true cost” of energy coupled with scarcity as finite natural resources are rapidly being diminished — is refocusing IT leaders on efficiency and total cost of ownership, particularly in the context of the world-wide financial crisis.

“Making a conscious decision to go green in the workplace, not only improves your bottom line, but also reduces your carbon footprint. It’s a win-win no matter how you look at it”, says Shawn Nesbitt, the founder of Simple Network Consulting.
This article covers following topics:

  • Understanding Green IT and Green Technologies
  • Profiling Energy Usage for Efficient Consumption
  • Recycling E-Waste
  • Industry Best Practices
  • Benefits of Green Computing
  • Conclusion

Food For thought: Few steps to Greener Planet

  • Turn off the computer at night so it runs only eight hours a day— this will result in reduction of energy use by 810 kWh per year and net a 67 percent annual savings.
  • Plan the computer-related activities so one can do them all at once, keeping the computer off at other times.
  • Consider a smaller monitor—a 14-inch display uses 40 percent less energy than a 17-inch one.
  • Enable the standby/sleep mode and power management settings on the computer.
  • Forgo the screen saver—it doesn’t save energy or the screen unless one is using an old monochrome monitor.
  • Review document drafts and e-mails onscreen instead of printing them out.
  • Power off your monitor when not in use instead of using screen savers.
  • Consider using an ink-jet printer—although a bit slower than laser printers, inkjets use 80 to 90 percent less energy.
  • Purchase flat-screen monitors—they use significantly less energy and are not as hard on your eyes as CRTs.
  • Do not leave the computer running overnight or on weekends.
  • Print on recycled-content paper. Look for non-chlorine bleached papers with 50 to 100 percent post-consumer waste.
  • Use double-sided printing functions.
  • E-mail communications as an alternative to paper memos and fax documents.
  • Turn off all printers and peripherals unless you are using them.

There is an unprecedented degree of consensus today that our nation faces significant energy challenges that threaten to impact our economic competitiveness, national security and the global environment. Ensuring a sound energy future is one of the most urgent policy challenges facing our nation and indeed the global community.
Lets all of us join hands for this cause and make our own efforts to save this planet.


Author: Sheetal Kalra
Assoc. Prof, ISME