In general, today’s computers are more energy efficient as
compared with computer several years ago. Some companies, for example, TinyGreen
PC (tinygreenpc.com), sells specifically designed system to consume less
energy. Choosing computers based on their energy-saving certificate is
certainly a wise move.
However, based on the statistics, the effect on the
environment caused by producing PC is bigger than using it, so shall we
consider the green certificate of the producers when buying a new PC? If you
care for the environment, you will definitely think that this is what you don’t
have to think about, but it’s very important when considering how different the
companies really are, about the damage they cause for the planet in producing
and delivering goods.
According to the Greenpeace organization, there is a
difference in their impact in the environment, and of course, it’s a factor we
need to consider when talking about choosing devices. In “Guide to Greener
Electronics”, Greenpeace organization let us know that the evaluation criteria
include problems such as company’s energy efficiency, energy efficiency of its
products, using harmful substance in production, recycling policies and using
material that can be recycled. The chart is presented on Greenpeace’s website,
and while the scores are remarkably different, it’s interesting to realize that
highest rated companies receive lower score than the maximum 10 points.
The most interesting thing is that the rank of Greenpeace
only includes 15 world-biggest electronic equipment manufacturers and beside computer,
that list includes TV and mobile phone manufacturers.
Unless you are planning to buy a “unique” PC, this instruction
not only helps you to choose a producer based on its environmental certificate.
Moreover, while the big companies in Greenpeace guide will produce more
components in their PC, the similar thing is not true to all of the smaller
Because these manufacturers buy components such as
motherboard, hard disk drive, adapter and computer chassis from the far eastern
producer, the differences among environmental effects of these smaller system
assemblers won’t be as great as others. Truly, you can think more wisely than
smaller local system assemblers rather than buy a branded computer which will
be transported back and forth between the warehouse and the store.
Green devices to save money
Supposed that you can only control things that can be measured,
a monitoring tool which monitors your energy consumption is a useful one. The
cheapest and most simple devices to monitor your energy consumption are plugged
into the socket, while the device you want to monitor is plugged into the
desktop. Your Energy consumption - immediate or accumulative - is displayed on
the LCD screen. Energy Saving Power Meter of Energenie is only $21.
A more comprehensive solution is provided by AlertMe.
SmartEnergy kits ($75) contains SmartEnergy hub, which connect to 1 empty Ethernet
port on router and wireless connectivity with energy monitors, and SmartMeter
Reader, which is clamped into the plug-in cable of your power meter and
communicate to hub to provide data about the total energy consumption of your
Info displayed on independent SmartDisplay, which is also a
part of the kits, or you can access the info by using mobile phone or website of
You can also consider adding 1 or some SmartPlugs ($37.5), which
also communicate to the hub and allow you to monitor the energy consumption of
special devices such as printer. You can even move the SmartPlugs to see how
much money you spend to supply all the devices which are set in standby mode.
SmartEnergy kit ($75)
contains SmartEnergy hub and SmartMeter Reader
Watching how much it costs you to let your devices open
unnecessarily will definitely give you a motivation to turn it off, but it’s
easy to forget once newness is over.
This is the place where a tool designed to turn off the
devices automatically prove to be convenient. For example, Energy Egg ($60,
energyegg.com) uses a motion detection to define if there is anyone in the room
then turn off the electronic devices automatically. We rated Energy Egg at
While this is a good idea for accessories such as printer
speaker and external hard drives, we suggest not using Energy Egg with the
computer. PC is always turned off by using the Start menu of Windows, and we
hate to see you lose any jobs you haven’t finished.
Bye Bye Standby Powerdown Strip ($30, byebyetstandby.com) is
fairly different in which it only turns off 4 accessories after you turn off
If you like to take control in turning off the technology,
Conserve Switch ($22.5, belkin.com) of Belkin may be ideal. You just have to plug
many accessories into the device, and it will turn them off, when you press a
button on a remote control from 20m distance.
Advice for saving energy (and money)
Turn the PC off at the
end of the day
It’s only about 1 minute to reopen it, and opposite to the
rumors, specialists said that turning on and off won’t shorten its age.
Turn off the accessories
when not using
Energy consumed by accessories can increase quickly. If you
have a laser printer, it can use 40W at standby mode.
Unplug chargers when
Even when the device’s battery is full, the charger will
continue to use electricity from the socket. This process will continue whether
you disconnect the device from the charger.
PC can use a much more energy than you think, even when it’s
off. Certainly, you won’t turn off your PC if you leave it there to drink
coffee or answer phone calls, but the Power Options configuration of Windows turn
it to the energy-saving mode throughout the inactive time.
Monitor your energy
Several coins in addition for electricity bill every day
seem not much, but it will accumulate little by little. There are remarkable
savings if you have several PCs, each PC with many accessories.
A cheap-price electric meter will notify you how much
electricity your devices are using. Plug this device into one of these meters
and it will provide you motivation to start saving.
Automatically turn off
Consider investing in a device which automatically turns off
the devices when they are discover to be inactive for a while.
Energy Egg turns
off the electronic devices when you leave the room.