Aug 1

To truly be a sustainable computer user, you have to think outside the monitor.  What can you do in your community to help promote sustainable energy and an environmentally-friendly way of life?  The answers aren’t always obvious, but there are many websites that offer suggestions.  SustainableComputing.org has compiled a list of its favorites for your benefit.  Start searching and get clickingand then go out and put what you’ve learned into action. Smart Growth Online (www.smartgrowth.org): Learn how communities can grow in a financially and environmentally responsible manner. National Energy Center for Sustainable Communities (www.necsc.us): Read the latest research into clean energy and development-planning. Building Codes Assistance Project (www.bcap-energy.org): Get educated on energy-saving building codes in your community. Pollution (www.pollution.com): Environmental information and spotlights on green energy and companies. Energy Star (www.energystar.gov): Save money by purchasing government-supported Energy Star products. The Home Energy Saver (www.homeenergysaver.lbl.gov/consumer/): Calculate your energy usage and learn how to lower it while saving money. American Methanol Institute (www.methanol.org): Get a taste for this clean and clear alternative fuel. Solar Today Magazine (www.solartoday.org): Read the online magazine of the American Solar Energy Society. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (www.nrel.gov): Visit the home page of the only government lab dedicated to the research and development of new renewable energy technologies. Florida Solar Energy Center (www.fsec.ucf.edu):  Largest state-supported renewable energy research center. Alternative Technology Association (www.ata.org.au): A site by an Australian non-profit organization with plenty of articles and tips. U.S. Department of Energy Biomass Program (www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass/): How is biomass research changing the face of energy? The Veggie Van Organization (www.veggievan.org): Book a ride on the vegetable oil-powered van, the algae-powered Prius, direct tv ann arbor, and more. Department of Energy (www.energy.gov): Learn about energy efficiency and new technologies at the DOE. National Hydropower Association (www2.hydro.org): A non-profit organization dedicated to hydropower energy. World Energy Council (www.worldenergy.org): Learn about the latest-efforts of the long-running international energy organization (founded 1923). Oak Ridge National Laboratory (www.ornl.gov): Home of the Tennessee science and energy laboratory. INFORM (www.informinc.org/pages/index.php):  “Be informed” about the energy alternatives available today.

May 28

Many people have a variety of electronics in their home including personal computers, laptops and other electronic devices. When these devices are left on most of the time, then you are using a lot of energy. Your PC should be turned off after you are finished. Most people don’t realize how much energy a computer uses and how it can affect your energy bill. There are other ways to be more eco-friendly including starting a recycling program. Instead of throwing your old Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 20

Turning off your computer is one way to reduce your carbon footprint. Computers use a great deal of energy when they are on all the time. Turning off your computer when you’re done will also save you money on your electric bill. Make sure to turn off your monitor and any other devices you aren’t using. Using less energy is an important part of reducing your carbon footprint. Reducing your carbon footprint will make you feel like you’re doing your part for the environment.

Many computers also have other ways to reduce energy usage. There are many Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 13

In today’s society you can’t walk more than two feet without interfacing with or encountering a computer in some form. Computers help us do our jobs, do our shopping, find great movies, listen to our favorite songs, keep control of our finances and even schedule our lives – computers are very much inextricably woven into our daily lives, but they can use a lot of power. If you are an energy conscious person who favors green energy or renewable energy, then you probably get your power through places like http://www.shopelectricityratestexas.com/switch_electric_companies.html and you know this problem all too well.

However, you don’t need to worry. Most computers and processors these days come equipped with energy saving features that drastically cut back on consumption. Sometimes activating this feature is as easy as the press of button and the computer goes into hibernation mode. Unfortunately, some people, who just have to have access to their computers 24/7, will refrain from shutting down or putting their computer in hibernation and therein lies the problem. Not only does this use up power when you aren’t using the computer but it puts undo stress and wear on the unit. For those curious about saving power and using eco-friendly practices on the computer, it’s really quite simple – give your computer a rest every now and again. Don’t worry. It will still be there the next time you need it.

Mar 22

In today’s world, IT managers are taking their Corporate Social Responsibility quite seriously. They want their data centers and server farms to have less of an impact on the community where they reside. For this reason, they are using eco friendly parts and materials in their equipment. Things like chassis and frames are now made using recyclable materials. The parts require less electricity to operate therefore cooling needs decrease. These types of friendly business practices foster the need for novel ideas, which spurs new inventions and more jobs. In other words, being eco-friendly today is not a matter of Just Energy savings. It is also a matter of contributing to the community as a whole. Today’s IT managers know that we are all in the game together.

Applying eco-friendly principles to computers saves them money but also protects the environment while actually creating new jobs. When more folks are working, there is a greater demand for their services, which means they can further focus going green. They are killing more then a single bird with once stone and this is what makes America great. Why not look at your IT data center and see how new technologies can help to reduce cooling costs while creating jobs.

Aug 4

When you close your computer, whether for the day or just for a few minutes, you probably aren’t consciously considering which mode will use the least energy and serve you most effectively. Most of us simply fall into a pattern of clicking the same button every time, regardless of which is actually the most efficient choice. Understanding the difference in sleep and hibernate modes can help you decide which is the appropriate course of action each time you finish using your computer.A computer placed in sleep or standby mode is utilizing a type of power-saving method that will reduce the power used by your monitor and turn off the hard drive, but it stores whatever you were using or working on in random access memory (RAM). True to its name, when your computer is placed in this power-saving mode it can easily be restarted or woken up. However, your un-saved work is at risk because if the battery power dies or there is a power outage with a desktop computer, RAM fails and you can lose your work. For this reason, sleep should be used when you are only going to be away from your computer for a very short time period. If you use the sleep mode more than a few hours you can drain the battery, using unnecessary amounts of electricity. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 2

In many ways technology has made our lives much simpler. It can save time, help avoid mess, and has much greater capabilities than we ever could have dreamed of. With all of these advantages, there is obviously a downfall. Viruses and identity theft are not new issues, but recently, individuals and companies are at a much greater risk as a result of the unanticipated increase in internet and technology use. Take a look at our top 5 ways to protect yourself from such an attack so that you won’t be the next victim.1) Anti-virus software: This is a crucial element of online protection and there are many companies that offer extensive and trusted products to protect your computer from a virus. A Firewall, which hides your system from hackers, is also one of the best ways to avoid a cyber attack. However, by wary of unknown, online products offering anti-virus software. These can actually be viruses posing as such software, and when downloaded will infect your computer. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 23

Slowly but surely, more and more companies are realizing the cost and energy benefits of going green. Take William Hill, a CIO from Dayton, Ohio for example. By replacing his old set up of 80 networked terminals consisting of varying assortments of PCs with thin clients (a computer/computer program that depends heavily on another computer which acts as a server to fulfill its traditional roles) for 60 of his staff and PCs for the rest, he was able to obtain optimal use at minimal cost. Initially, the reason behind Tills switch to thin clients was their lower cost. Once the new system was in effect, he noticed a corresponding drop in how much energy the organization was usingenough to save the city between 60,000 and 90,000 annually.While many companies are switching to eco-friendly business technologies for monetary reasons, others are making a change strictly for the environment. As Andrew Fanara, team leader at the EPA’s Energy Star Program puts it, “as competitive entities, we have to do more with less. So why not use less electricity as well?” It seems the sustainable computing trend is catching on. At a conference on opportunities for energy savings co-sponsored by the Energy Protection Agency, over 200 reps attended. These attendees included large companies such as AT&T, Target, and Visa. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 23

As corporations become increasingly dependent on internet technology, the risk of cyber attack continues to grow. There has been a recent push by both government and research institutions to create more secure internet software. Cyber attacks come in many forms, but they are almost always crippling. Another industry trend that is increasing the risk of security breaches is cloud computing. This is a process where information is stored and accessed from one central server and can be used by any number of authorized people. By having so much information stored in what is sometimes an indeterminate location, the risk can increase. While this may seem like a foreign concept, chances are you are “cloud computing” more than you think. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, which allow you to store information and files such as pictures, are forms of cloud computing. Some see this as an even greater risk because often information on these sites is personal. How to go about combating the security issues associated with internet technology and software depends on whether you are functioning at an individual level or with your business. Most companies utilize some sort of Firewall system that makes them invisible to potential hackers but many individual computer users are not aware how important this product is. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 23

The continued increase in demand for software, computing devices, and internet technology in the developed world along with the rapid industrialization of developing nations is forcing us to take a look at more sustainable technologies. Not only is there a concern that we are depleting some of the finite resources used in these technologies, but their effect on our environment could be devastating. There are a number of ways that IT departments are looking to increase efficiency in order to create a more sustainable technological industry.One of the major areas of change in the technology industry is the type of monitor used. Traditional CRT monitors are rapidly being replaced with LCD screens. Known for their precise technology, CRT screens are still necessary in some industries such as graphic design. However, many people have switched to LCDs, which are lighter weight and don’t consume as much energy as CRTs, nor emit the heat produced by CRTs. Read the rest of this entry »

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