Green IT – How To Implement Sustainable Computing
Sustainable computing, also known as ‘green IT’, is the practice of making environmentally friendly decisions with information technology. Similar to going green with anything, it involves applying green solutions to computers, electronics and other IT related processes. At scale, this might seem a difficult concept. But it’s completely possible. Even the financial industry and banks have accomplished strong green platforms in the form of ethical banks.
Green IT or sustainable computing is not easy, given that computers constantly consume so much energy. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to try. For small investments by a business or company, the environment benefits from lower carbon emissions (if not already using renewable energy). Green IT solutions save money by conserving energy. To start implementing green IT or sustainable computing, below are a few ways to start;
Encourage Sleep Mode
Office workers underestimate using sleep mode on device energy consumption. While it’s true it doesn’t reduce energy consumption considerably right away, the energy it saves gradually accumulates. After a year, the amount of energy saved can be considerable. Especially across large offices or businesses with lots of work stations.
A standard computer consumes an average of 200 watts of energy. This is reduced to 8 watts with sleep mode activated, when not being used. So sleep mode cuts computer energy consumption by 96%. A challenge to implementing this practice is getting employees involved at scale. For this reason, it’s best to introduce this practice during onboarding to make it standard practice.
Use Power Strips
To reduce energy consumption further, investing in power strips can provide great ROI. Across a workplace, even when in sleep mode, devices still consume energy. Experts call this vampire load. One way to reduce or eliminate vampire loads is to turn off devices. That may prove difficult, given the amount of computers or devices in a typical office. With a power strip, quickly turn off multiple electronics at once when not in use.
Research has found that power strips can cut down on electricity usage by up to a considerable 48%. The only issue with using power strips is that they can become a mass of messy cables, if not handled professionally. To avoid this, you can seek assistance from experts. If you’re situated in somewhere like the U.K, local companies can look into IT support in London by Computers In The City as an option for professional cable management and IT setups.
One of the best ways to improve the sustainability of a workplace is by going paperless. Use technology to reduce the use of paper for things such as documents, fax and more. To go paperless, here are a few pointers:
- Store files and documents in the cloud. You’ll have digital copies of your paper documents which will enable you to save your files in cloud storage
- Use digital notepads for notetaking
- Cease printing presentations
- Use instant messaging or email instead of traditional mail
- Use electronic signatures for transactions
Invest In Energy Efficient Equipment
Most individuals and business owners go for products that boast high durability, features and affordability. Whilst reasonable, energy efficiency is important for a sustainable environment and can also save costs. Check Energy Star ratings to see how devices or equipment compare on energy consumption.
Recycle Unnecessary Electronics And Devices
Many people do not recycle their old or unused electronics. Electronics and devices like monitors, and printers contain plastics and metals which can be sent to a commercial recycling services center.
Implementing sustainable computing can be challenging, be it in the workplace or even at home. However, it’s an incredibly worthwhile venture, considering the potential benefits not just personally, but worldwide. Lower power bills and reduce carbon emissions, helping the environment at the same time. With the above guide, it’s not as hard as you might think.