How Green Is Your Computer Usage?

Most families these days would have a hard time getting by without a computer. They allow people like me to work from home, make doing research for homework easier, make typing homework assignments easier for kids, and there are plenty of fun games to be played on the computer.

But they aren’t exactly the greenest machine in the house in a lot of ways.

computer power

You’ll probably enjoy today’s post over on EcoGeek about helping your computer waste less electricity. It’s a good read.

He says computers draw about 100 watts when they’re on, more as you use them. This means you need to learn to do what you can to limit the waste.

Computers these days can cope better with being turned off regularly than they used to. So if you aren’t going to be using your computer for a time turn it off. Monitor too.

If you aren’t comfortable with turning your computer off all the time, make sure that you at least have it go to standby when you’re leaving it alone for a time. Go to your Control Panel and check your power options. Set your computer to go to standby after a selected period of inactivity. This way you are at least minimizing the power your computer is using.

Another big point made is that you should try to repair rather than replace your computer whenever possible. I’m a big fan of that. My current computer is about a year and a half old; I have a 5 year extended warranty on it that I’ve already had some good use of, unfortunately, but that means I’m glad I have it. But it also ensures that I can comfortably keep using my computer at least 5 years, and hopefully much longer.

When it comes time to dispose of your computer, remember that you should so so correctly. I can understand wanting to be careful about it, since so much personal information is on the hard drive, accessible even if you delete it if the person has the know-how. It’s very, very hard to clean a hard drive off sufficiently.

If you can do it, however, just remember that many people would be all too glad to have even an old computer. Machines you and I might consider to be ridiculously slow are a real treat to other people. Try to find a place that will take your old machine and either make good use of it or dispose of it safely.

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