Green Computing- A New Horizon of Energy Efficiency and E-Waste Minimization

Posted on August 3, 2010 in Environment

By Richa Patil:

Green use, green disposal, green design, and green manufacturing.

Green computing or green IT, refers to environmentally sustainable that is sustainability is the capacity to last forever computing or IT. It is “the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers, servers, and associated subsystems–such as monitors, printers, storage devices, and networking and communications systems.

Green IT also strives to achieve economic viability and improved system performance and use, while lasting for a long time by our social and ethical responsibilities. Thus, green IT includes the economics of energy efficiency, the cost of disposal, sustainability and recycling. It is the study and practice of using computing resources efficiently.

But in the recent past another focus has got immense importance and that is achievement of energy efficiency, minimization of power consumption of e-equipments.

“Greening” your computing equipment is a low-risk way for your business to not only help the environment but also reduce costs. It’s also one of the largest growing trends in business today. “Making a proper decision to go green in the workplace such as offices, not only improves the net profit of your business, but also reduces your carbon footprint. Reducing energy usage, which also reduces carbon dioxide emissions and your energy bill, is the most effective thing you can do.

The average PC wastes about half the energy provided to it, according to the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, an industry group dedicated to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. You should encourage employees to shut down their PCs or put them into sleep mode when not working on them. Nesbitt recommends implementing thin clients produced by Neoware to reduce the TCO of your company’s computing environment. Neoware is a member of

Problems that are generally faced

Performance-wise, computer design has progressed amazingly well and astonishingly fast but looking at it from a green perspective, the work is at its epoch. Conventionally, manufacturing computers includes the use of lead, cadmium, mercury, and other toxics in general. Usually, computers can contain 4 to 8 pounds of lead alone, according to green experts. It’s no wonder that computers and other electronics make up two-fifths of all lead in landfills which means a method of solid waste disposal. To stop this growing pollution threat all over the world due to the growing use of electronic device in general and computers in particular all over world there is a need to look for an eco-friendly computer.

Some facts:

To keep servers at the right temperature, companies mainly rely on air-conditioning equipments. The more powerful the machine, the more cool air needed to keep it from overheating. By 2005, the energy required to power and cool servers accounted for about 1.2% of total U.S. electricity consumption, according to a report released in February by staff scientist Jonathan Koomey of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and sponsored by chip manufacturer AMD (AMD).

According to Gartner by 2010, about half of the Forbes Global 2000 companies will spend more on energy than on hardware such as servers. Energy costs, now about 10% of the average IT budget according to some research.

Faster processors use more power, because they use too much power and their waste heat increases temperature for which air conditioning necessary, especially in server farms–between the computers and the HVAC. The waste heat also causes reliability problems, as CPU’s crash much more often at higher temperatures.

Solutions to it are

  • Recycling, Reusing and reducing paper waste.
  • Virtualization is one of the most effective tools for more cost-effective, greener-energy efficient computing where each server is divided into multiple virtual machines that run different applications and in this way companies can increase their server utilization rates. This approach is so energy friendly.
  • Switch your computer off when you’re not using it, especially over night and if you will be out for the day.
  • If you’re going to be away from it for a short time then turn off the monitor.
  • You can also adjust the power management using the control panel to turn off your hard drive and put your system into standby after a set amount of time.
  • For more advanced users remove unnecessary fans and Drives.
  • Refill Ink-jet cartridges and laser toner; it’s cheaper and doesn’t add to landfill
  • Switch off Cable Modems, Routers and Wi-Fi Access Points when not in use / overnight.
  • If you are going to build your own PC pick the parts carefully. Instead of getting two 1 GB chips, buy one 2 GB one. Build the computer to your needs don’t install unnecessary parts if you will never use them. Also consider certified 80 plus energy efficient power supplies
  • Even some awareness programs should be organized.
  • You can also buy other equipment that uses fewer toxic materials and more recycled components.

Many new electronics that were sold in the United States already meet the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS), a standard for banning the general use of six hazardous substances which includes lead and mercury, and many manufacturers are help in reducing to further use of toxic substance.

But in India, the principle of “Green Computing” is facing a dilemma due to many socio-economic matters.

So far, consumers haven’t cared about ecological impact when buying computers, they’ve cared only about speed and price. No time has come to think about your ecology, consumer should become pickier about being green, devices that use less and less power while renewable energy gets more and more portable and effective.

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