Do you all know Kermit the Frog? Remember his famous song Bein’ Green? In it Kermit lamented that it wasn’t that easy being green. But that was before there was a whole new kind of green – what we now refer to as being more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. That is actually not so hard, especially when it comes to using your PC.
Here are some ways I’ve tried to get greener with my PC use. I hope you’ll find some of the tips helpful.
Power Settings & Peripherals
Get to know and love your power options settings inside Windows, shown below:
I have set mine to the Energy Star settings where my display turns off after 10 minutes, and my computer goes to sleep after 15 minutes. I don’t ever totally turn my computer off since I use Windows Media Center to record television and I want my PC to wake up to do this. I do, however, try to make sure that when I’m not actually using my computer, I turn off my peripherals (monitor, speakers, printer) so that they aren’t using any power, not even a “low-power” mode.
What’s so green about e-mail? Well, I use Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Mail to try to go as paperless as I can. I try to get all of my bills electronically, and prefer to get product offers that way too instead of catalogs and physical mail. It’s hard to unsubscribe from the snail mail version of some of these, but well worth your time if you can. The ones I do get I make sure and put in the paper recycling bin and not the trash.
The other green things I’ve been doing and really never thought of as green is downloading stuff. Not just software, but also games (thanks, Xbox!), movies (thanks, Netflix!) and music (thanks, Zune!). I know that a download takes energy that’s devoted to the server in some data center somewhere and the energy to keep the internet pipe from that data center to my house intact. But my hypothesis is that downloading is greener than buying the actual thing and dealing with all the packaging that typically accompanies the product. Not to mention the transportation and manufacturing of the product. Does anyone know of any stats on how less environmentally impactful downloads are versus physical products? If so, please leave me a comment.
Good luck as you try to get greener! If you have your own green tips to share, please consider joining the Clubhouse where Windows enthusiasts share their blog entries.
- Marcus, Windows Community Manager