Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Singing an old song.

I’ve hesitated to write this entry. After all, I am preaching to the choir as many CSCI Board, Sponsor, Associate and Affiliate members have all said this and ‘kicked at open doors’. I think it bears repeating, however, and I ask us all to evangelize to coworkers, friends, family, and neighbors.

Simply put - too much energy is being wasted and too much carbon is being released which can be avoided through simple power management of computers and other electronic devices. An informal and far-from-statistically-sound survey I did this past week suggests that a significant chunk of people in “IT” and a majority of non-IT folks don’t turn off their computers. It's just a habit; A habit that undermines what CSCI is about. Let's break it.

Read this, act, and share with your network of people:

1. Turn off your computer, monitor, printer…and any other peripherals when finished for the day. If a computer system is left powered on while eating dinner, watching TV, talking with family, etc. - that’s a lot o’ energy going nowhere. Its easy to automate this process too, for example, Apple computers let you schedule a time to turn off and turn back on. Of course, just shutting down and hitting On/Off switches works well too.

2. Use the power management capabilities of your computer so that those times you’re away at a meeting, on a phone call, etc. and the computer’s not being used, take advantage of a lower power use state and save energy, carbon, and money. If you’re concerned about how reliable “Suspend” and such things are, take heart in knowing that all the computer and operating system makers have worked hard in the past years to make power management solid, reliable, and usable. You can even get instructions for setting up power management on your system courtesy of CSCI at http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org/learn/saving-energy-at-home/.

These very simple steps can save about US$60 per year, per computer.

To take it one step further, you can also start turning off other things in your home or office. Going on vacation? Does your wireless router really need to be on while you’re gone? Not really. Still, if you start with just one computer, you’ll being saving yourself and the planet.

Lights blazing alone / Show us opportunities / Retrain to save.

George Goodman, executive director

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