Are You Saving the Planet When You Purchase a PC?

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Christina Morrison 10 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #97409

    HP is proud to promote the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Earth Day 2010. Last week, they posted a blog with “5 simple steps for improved energy efficiency for Federal Agencies.”

    This week, they are hoping to learn more about your perspective related to energy efficiency through the polls below. Respond to the polls and share your thoughts/tips/links in the comments below.

  • #97451

    Christina Morrison

    Great poll. I’m interested in hearing what everyone thinks about Powering IT Down

  • #97449

    Srinidhi Boray

    Every search word googled generates carbon foot print. How much is that? Would you care not to google when you are sitting idle instead meditate calmly.

    “”performing two Google searches from a desktop computer can generate about the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle” or about 7g of CO2 per search”

  • #97447

    To be honest, I rarely if ever power down my laptop at night. I just usually have 20-25 windows open at any given time and don’t want to “lose” my work. I know, I know, I could save them as favorites and come back to them later…but having them open is a good reminder to complete associated tasks.

    @Srinidhi – Really? Seems hard to believe, though I reviewed the article about Google searches and they make a solid case.

  • #97445

    Srinidhi Boray

    This case was also being extended into cloud computing etc as they are very power hungry.

    Google disputed this result 🙂

    Google is too big to disagree with.

  • #97443

    Doug Mashkuri

    It would be interesting to see the power down results broken down by home office workers vs. “real” office workers. When I worked at an office I always powered down whereas at my home office I, like Andy, do not power down very often.

  • #97441

    Good point, Doug. Definitely true – at the office, there was something very satisfying about powering down for the day…and it seemed to signify a mental shift, too. Not so at home…feels like I’m always on – literally and figuratively.

  • #97439

    Sam Allgood

    I love those widgets and the ability to vote right here! I’m surprised that the last poll doesn’t have a 0 days per week option. At home, we rarely turn off my wife’s computer (but I always put my laptop to sleep). I normally just lock my pc at work, but this has prompted me to test and plan to start putting it to sleep (used to have a problem with this Vista OS not waking up, but it works now).

  • #97437

    Amanda Blount

    Great Polls!

    I am a huge advocate of “Greening the world.” I know that at some level there will be carbon being generated when using the computer; the manufacture of parts, assembly, delivery, and usage, but the balance and savings to manual labor, paper usage (yes, I know we still all print off everything), and productivity has increased. I hate that many of the computers end up in the landfills when so many non-profit agencies can still use the word programs to teach students to type, and the computers can be recycled, but again I do stand on the side of the computers as the balance we needed to increase knowledge and productivity around the world.

    I will give you a personal example; I grew up in the middle of no-where on a farm. We had no TV growing up, and the library was 30 minutes away (for a hard working farm family that was forever away), so I did not get the exposure to the world which I should have gotten. There are still people in my town who don’t know anything outside the county limits. But, when I got my very own first computer in 1996, I hooked up to the internet, and have never looked back. I looked up everything I could for about a week. Even in 1996, I could bring up Martin Luther’s “I have a Dream Speech”, or search for the pyramids of Egypt. I could do all of this with two kids asleep, or cooking supper. The information available on computers is such a wonderful thing I can’t even express it. If I were a rich person, I would give a computer and the internet to every family in my home town.

    Computer Access in Africa has helped women obtain jobs, and more women are divorcing abusive men due to the social programs they find on the internet. Plus, medical care is becoming more available in rural areas due to computers and the internet. The CDC is using tribal leaders and small computers to track diseases to the very first case.

    @Srinidhi – I know there is a lot of carbon associated with computers. That is a fact that cannot be denied. But, besides the social problems that are being figured out on a daily basis, I also think about the books that don’t have to be created every year (remember the stacks and stacks of encyclopedias we no longer need), and the trucks to bring those books to every school and library across the country, and the kids in small rural schools who can’t afford books but they hit Google and the world is their oyster! When I was a teacher, to a group of rural troubled kids living in poverty, I would have the kids in the computer lab as often as possible. It opened their eyes to a whole new world away from crime, poverty, and drugs. I was told by a few students they only graduated high school due to me giving them hope of a future.

    I agree, yes, carbon and waste from big computer companies (and Google) is an issue, which needs to be addressed, but I am so happy the carbon they produce does do so much good for the world.

    To answer the topic question; yes I believe I am saving the planet when I purchase a PC.

    Here are some simple ways to save the planet a little more by reducing the carbon footprint of computers;

    1. Sleep mode as often as possible (Andy, if I have a huge amount of things open at night, I drag the links to a folder on my desktop and open the folder in the morning to see where I was)

    2. Delete all information from your computer and give the computers to a non-profit agency. Eeven though the computer is too old to get on the net, it is still a very good word computer to teach computer skills and typing. Plus, using old computers gives new students confidence; If the new students crash an old computer it is not a big deal.

    3. Turn the computer into a recycle or refurbish program. So yours is old and does not work; someone can use your parts and make a good one for rural schools.

  • #97435

    Srinidhi Boray

    I was doing research on using NAS drive instead of PC server to drive Twonky Server which is like iTunes for driving the media, I gather keeping PC running is about $12 / month. So I bought NAS and it is 24 / 7 and needs no PC to run the video / audio server to AppleTV. Also, it is built to be energy efficient. Now PC is always sleeping.

  • #97433

    Henry Brown

    Little misleading the 3rd survey… How many Days to you power down Computer AND monitor Probably don’t do a complete power down of computer ever but goes into hibernation/dramatically reduced power consumption nightly and the Monitor is powered down every night and goes into hibernation/dramatically reduced power consumption after 30 minutes of NON-use.

    At this time MOST enterprises are caught between the rock and hardspot as far as powering down computers and “pushing” updates out to the various machines, Monitors and hibernation are somewhat of a practical answer to the update issue at the enterprise level

  • #97431

    Amanda Blount

    AHH Good Point! I have a laptop and a home PC. The laptop at work must “sleep” but we can’t turn them off. My home computers are a mix between off and sleep. But, the monitors are always off when not in use.

  • #97429

    Dr. GovLoop


    #1 is an excellent tip. Doing that tonight (maybe 🙂 Thanks!!
    #2 I have two monitors I need to give away…thanks for the kick in the pants there.

    @Anyone – best way to ensure your hard drive is wiped clean of personal data to accomplish #2 and #3?

  • #97427

    Amanda Blount

    WOW very cool!

  • #97425

    Amanda Blount

    Thank you Dr Govloop 🙂

    To your question, I don’t really have a great answer because I have a guy who does this kind of thing for me for free. He is a professional who knows how to wipe it as clean as possible. I wonder if more professionals would do it for free if they knew you were donating the computer? Humm, maybe something we can start on GovLoop. We have some very good computer folks on here, maybe they can start a revolution of “Wipe you hard drive for charity Day!” Anyone who has an old computer can donate the computer on a certain day and it will get wiped for free (or the hard drive removed for free) to be donated to a non-profit organization or a recycle program.

  • #97423

    Henry Brown

    two videos which will walk MOST anyone through the process

    A PCworld 5 minute video on how to completely erase a hard drive

    youtube 4 minute video completely erase a hard drive

    rather techie, although basic description, from Webopedia’s which will require going to several links to accomplish/understand the process

  • #97421

    Cleatis Grumbly

    Very true. I always power down at work but rarely do at home.

  • #97419

    Katie P.

    Our enterprise IT department has been working on a “wake on LAN” script that will allow everyone to power down their machines at the end of the day, and wake them up if patches need to be applied – or, allow employees to log in through our remote access solution and wake up their PCs if they need to log into them. This is still a work in progress but has been successful so far.

    I agree with Andrew K., though – I use open windows as a “to do” list and therefore don’t like to power down my machine at all! I usually only fully turn it off over the weekend, but I do use sleep mode and make sure the monitor is off.

  • #97417

    Kevin Elliott

    I guess I’m the odd man out. I power down my laptop at home every night. However, due to the managed network at work, I can only log off my desktop. It does go into hibernation, but everything is still powered up and instant on in the morning.

  • #97415

    Steven Vance

    On Windows, you can choose to Hibernate – this function saves the computer’s state (open windows, applications, etc.) to the hard drive and then goes to sleep. When you wake it, the computer copies the state from the hard drive back to the memory (RAM) and it’s as if nothing happened.

    On Mac, just close the lid or press the power button to make it sleep.

  • #97413

    Steven Vance

    I only turn off my work computer over the weekend or before a vacation. My computer is kind of slow and takes 5-10 minutes after powering on to “be ready” to work. It’s very annoying.

  • #97411

    Steve Richardson

    I log off but never power down unless asked by our IT shop, because it takes 8-9 minutes to boot up.

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