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Green computing, also called green technology, is the environmentally accountable use of computers and related resources. Such practices include the implementation of energy-efficient central processing units (CPUs), servers and peripherals as well as reduced resource consumption and proper disposal of electronic waste (e-waste).
One of the most primitive initiatives toward green computing in the United States was the voluntary labeling program known as Energy Star. It was visualized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 in the direction of promoting energy efficiency in hardware of all kinds. The Energy Star label became a widespread sight, especially in notebook computers and displays. Similar programs have been adopted in Europe and Asia.
Government regulation, however well-intentioned, is only part of an overall green computing philosophy. The work habits of computer users and businesses can be modified to minimize adverse impact on the global environment
Techopedia explains Green Computing as “Green computing aims to attain economic viability and improve the way computing devices are used. Green IT practices include the development of environmentally sustainable production practices, energy efficient computers and improved disposal and recycling procedures.”
To encourage green computing concepts at all possible levels, the following four harmonizing approaches are engaged
Green use: Minimizing the electricity consumption of computers and their peripheral devices and using them in an eco-friendly manner
Green disposal: Repurposing an existing computer or appropriately disposing of, or recycling, unwanted electronic equipment
Green design: Designing energy-efficient computers, servers, printers, projectors and other digital devices
Green manufacturing: Minimizing waste during the manufacturing of computers and other subsystems to reduce the environmental impact of these activities
Average computer users can employ the following general tactics to make their computing usage greener:
- Use the hibernate or sleep mode when away from a computer for extended periods
- Buy energy efficient notebook computers, instead of desktop computers
- Activate the power management features for controlling energy consumption
- Make proper arrangements for safe electronic waste disposal
- Turn off computers at the end of each day
- Refill printer cartridges, rather than buying new ones
- Instead of purchasing a new computer, try refurbishing an existing device