Over the past decade, green computing has proven itself to be the most concerning issue for the businesses and governments around the globe as computing becomes increasingly pervasive.
While this may be a pretty darn good guide on Green Computing (if I do say so myself), it’s not going to be the last thing anyone ever writes about.
What Is Green Computing?
Wikipedia defines green computing as follows:
“Green computing or green IT is the practice and study of environmentally sustainable computing.”
In simple words, green computing is the practice of reducing environmental footprints of technology by efficiently using the resources. Broadly, green computing includes:
- Green Use – Using resources in such a way that reduces the usage of hazardous materials.
- Green Design – Designing objects and services that comply with the environment.
- Green Disposal – Recycling e-waste with no or little impact on the environment.
- Green Manufacturing – The discovery and development of new products that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in manufacturing.
Why Green Computing?
It’s common to hear that “Green Computing” is the future. Below are some key points you need to know why green computing can help your organization grow and shape their business.
1. Environmental Statistics – According to OECD, in 1990 there was 6169592.14 tons of CO2 equivalent, thousands emission in USA which has been increased to 6665700.866 tons of CO2 equivalent, thousands in 2011.
There is also an increasing growth in the e-waste generated. For example, in 2010 there was 252574 tons, thousands primary waste generated out of which 19714 tons, was from industry manufacturing and 9447 tons was hazardous waste. This shows how vastly the environment is contaminated and green growth is going to die!
2. Energy Consumption – According to US department of energy, data center heavily consumes energy, between 1.1% and 1.5% of the world’s total energy use in 2010. Another interesting fact is that a typical office PC might use on the order of 90 watts when active which includes 40 watts for a typical LCD screen.
3. Electronic Waste – E-waste includes discarded electronic appliances such as mobile phone, computers, and televisions. As on Wikipedia, “Around 50 million tons of e-waste are produced each year in which 15–20% of e-waste is recycled, and the rest of these go directly into landfills”.
Top 5 Steps to Implement Green Computing
Whether you’re an individual or business, following are some actions that need to be taken to ensure the green use of computers and electronics.
1. Energy Efficient Data Center Design – The energy-efficient data center design includes air management, heat recovery and electrical configuration of data centers in such a way that reduces the energy consumption to a great level. Modern data center design also includes on-site electricity generation and waste heat recycling.
2. Use of Energy Star Labeled Products – Energy star label indicates the energy efficiency of the appliance such as TV, which goes between one and ten stars. The greater the number of stars the higher the efficiency. So you can go green by purchasing an appliance on the basis of energy star.
3. Follow These Basic Computer Ethics –
a) Enable PC power management feature in your operating system.
b) Turn off your computer when not in use.
c) Screen saver doesn't save energy. So avoid screen saver and turn off your monitor.
d) Use LED monitors overs LCD.
e) Use sleep mode whenever you leave the PC on.
f) Always use the 80-plus certified power supply units for your computer.
4. E-Waste Recycling – E-waste recycling is the reuse or recycling of e-waste such as old computers, monitors etc. Instead of throwing it, always contribute to the non-profits and charities or submit it to the municipal or private recycling bodies.
5. Telecommunication – It is a work arrangement in which people work from home, making use of the internet, telephone, and email. The terms teleconferencing, telework or telepresence are often used interchangeably and are used as a method to implement green computing.
These technologies offer many advantages such as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions related to travel, more work satisfaction and lower costs for office space, heat and lighting.
Benefits of Green Computing
1. Environmental Sustainability – Green IT ensures the diversity and productiveness of the biological systems since it reduces negative impact of the processes through green use, design, disposal and green manufacturing.
It not only ensures the environmental and social sustainability but also economic sustainability which is necessary for the survival of human beings.
2. Better Resource Utilization – Green computing is a powerful approach to utilize resources such as office space, data centers, computers, heat, light, electrical power etc. in an environmental friendly way.
3. Cost Saving – Since you’re utilizing resources efficiently through green computing, there is a significant saving in the total operational costs.
4. Improved Corporate and Social Image – Green computing is a big hand for the businesses to improve their corporate image by meeting compliance and regulatory requirements. It also a good way to meet sustainability demands of the customers and employees.
Barriers to Green Adoption
Though green computing is largely considered as the future of things, there are still some issues that are barriers to the green computing adoption. For example the “privacy issues” that arise from the recycling of the old computer, costly equipment to implement green data center design and industry regulations.
Going green isn't just for the industry but also for the individuals. Industries and individuals should work collaboratively and independently to accelerate the Green IT and to contribute as a helping hand to save earth by computing more while consuming less!
To find out what environmental benefits your business can gain from Green computing, Download the FREE white paper “Green Computing — The Environmental Benefits of Going Green”.
I’m a digital marketer and environmental enthusiast working with Ace Cloud Hosting — a leading provider of QuickBooks Hosting Service. At Ace Cloud Hosting, we are perpetrated to helping customers compute more while consuming less.
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