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181: Greener personal desktop computing

Problem:

Internets cause global warming. Blog servers might have more than 10,000 PCs occupying an area of more than 40, 0000 sq. ft that generate huge amount of heat while running.

Each click of the keyboard engenders heat in a computer or laptop and processing of information data causes a minuscule rise in environmental temperature. Single internet search, depending upon the initial data, might consume enough electricity to run an 11 watt energy saving light bulb few minutes to an hour.

With about more than 5.6 billion searches internet searches estimated globally daily, the power consumption and GHG emissions generated by internet and computers is alarming. Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day (Internetlivestats, 2019). If you break this statistic down, it means that Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average.

Solution:

Greener computing.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program has set up green computing criteria, and compliance with these requirements earns systems the Energy Star label.

To gain Energy Star compliance, computers must use an energy-efficient power supply, operate efficiently in power saving modes (standby/off, sleep and idle modes), and also provide power management features (along with information about how to use those features).

If all the computers that are sold in the United States met Energy Star requirements, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by the equivalent of 2 million cars and save about $2 billion annually on energy costs

In addition to the Energy Star label, EPEAT (Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool), run by the Green Electronics Council, rates computers based on more than 50 energy-efficient criteria including everything from what materials were used in the system and its packaging to its energy conservation and end-of-life management.

This is a three-tiered rating system — gold, silver and bronze — and computers ranked by EPEAT are also Energy Star compliant.

In June 2007, Dell of Round Rock, Texas, set a goal of becoming the greenest technology company on Earth for the long term. The company launched a zero-carbon initiative that included partnering with customers to build the “greenest PC on the planet”.

Called the Studio Hybrid, its 87% efficient power supply meets Energy Star’s 4.0 green computing standards, and EPEAT gives the system its highest rating, gold.

The Studio Hybrid is 80% smaller than a typical desktop computer while its packaging is made from 95-percent-recyclable materials and comes with less printed documentation – 75 % less by weight (all documentation is made available online instead)

For an additional charge, owner-users can personalize it with a bamboo sleeve. And when they are ready to upgrade, the Studio Hybrid comes with its own system recycling kit.

Alongside Dell, other PC manufacturers have come up with solutions, including Lenovo’s ThinkCentre M57p, the Apple Mac mini, the Zonbu Desktop Mini, the Acer TravelMate TimelineX, the Asus Bamboo Series, the CherryPal etc.

What you can do: Shutdown and unplug your computer when not in use. Using your system’s power settings (for instance, programming a sleep mode or turning the machine off and unplugging it) is a smart way to conserve energy. But when it’s time to upgrade your system, consider going green. And don’t forget to recycle your outdated system.

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