It is hard to imagine a life without computer nowadays. However, during the production and even while being used, these devices consume a lot of energy. Solely the operation of servers of the five biggest internet provider causes the same amount of CO2 as the air traffic all around the world. Even in private households the power consumption of our computer is enormous. Under “Green IT” the industry promotes an environmentally friendly usage of computers.
What does Green IT mean?
Green IT initially means environmentally friendly computer. A low power consumption, easily degradable materials and an optimal everyday usage are the foundation of the concept. This idea will be implemented with the help of various measures: The amount of pollutants in devices are kept at a low level, the devices are designed to be long-lasting, the production is supposed to use as less raw materials as possible, and all components should be easy to repair and usable. However, not only the manufacturers are responsible. Every one of us is challenged in their everyday handling with electronic devices.
Look out for the expected useful life
Environmental friendliness is hard to measure. But there is a rule of thumb: the longer the device is in usage, the better it is for the environment. There are different factors that contribute to the lifetime. A changeable battery, upgradable storage, a scratch resistance case, or a long supply of software updates.
Defect electronic devices can be disposed free of charge at your local recycling depot. Mobile phones and smart phones are collected by network operators and environmental organisations because the raw materials are worth a few Euros, which can be donated. Very important is not to dispose electronic devices in household waste!
Saving on electricity costs
We all have heard the saying: electrical appliances consume energy in standby mode. A very old desktop computer in standby mode consumes between 2 and 15 watt, and when being turned on it even uses up to 80 watt. A lot of WLAN router, beamer and laser printer consume more than 10 watt in standby mode, some plasma screens even 20 watt. To counteract you can implement a switchable outlet – this will be profitable within a short period of time.
The greenest search console of them all
A charity search engine which donates 100% of its profit, plants trees and runs with renewable energy? It does exist and it is called Ecosia. The „green search engine“ does not only operate on a CO2-neutral basis, it also donates 100% of its surplus revenue to a rainforest project. Despite a small market share the proceeds are enough to plant trees in Brazil almost every minute. Ecosia obtains the search results from Microsoft Bing or a standard Google search. Money only comes from ads – when they are clicked on of course.
Bottom line: If everybody changes just a little bit, then our environment can change too.
Green IT is not only the obligation of manufacturers and fabricators of networking hardware. Rather, it means to consciously apply ecology to the life cycles of computers, monitors, printers, or smart phones. From the supplier through the manufacturer and the distributor all the way to the end consumer. And it is not only the bis changes that make a difference, but many little steps from each one of us.
Surely, the climate change will not be stopped only because of that – every single one of us can contribute to control the global warming before it is too late.