Green Computing

Whether you’re a student, faculty or staff member, your computer habits can make a huge difference in helping save energy and resources. On this page, you’ll find helpful tips for how to save energy and reduce printing.

Computers are a large power drain. Printers, speakers, and other accessories are no different. Desktop systems consume about four times the energy of a laptop, and more if the monitor is outdated.

To conserve energy, turn off your computer and accessories when not in use. Go one step further by turning your printer on only when it is needed; there is no benefit to leaving a printer turned on whenever your computer is on.

Another way to further save energy is to use a power strip with a surge protector. Plug your computer and accessories into the power strip and flip the switch once your computer is off. Most electronics still draw electricity (phantom load), even when turned off. Computers certainly fit this rule, but when unplugged, their energy drain goes to zero.

Screen savers are a thing of the past. With newer monitors, such as LCD, they are unnecessary, and may actually prevent your computer from going into an energy-saving sleep mode.

To set your computer’s settings for power consumption, sleep, or hibernate modes follow these easy instructions:

  • For Windows (7, Vista or XP) click start > control panel > system and maintenance (may not be necessary) > power options
  • For Mac click the apple > system preferences > power saver

We ask everyone to think before they print. Think first if it’s absolutely necessary, or if it will only be recycled in a few hours. While recycling is important, nothing is more sustainable than not using a resource in the first place. If it must be printed, always print on both sides when possible. In newer technologies, even small ink-jet printers have the ability to manually print double-sided.

Consider scaling the pages to print more than one page per side, especially if fonts are large. If you print two pages per sheet and double-sided, you can print four pages of material on just one sheet of paper.