Everyday Computing, Features, Technology

Green Computing: Energy Efficiency

Image of Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

ENERGY awareness week was celebrated locally during the period November 9 — November 15 with some fanfare. Did you just go through the motions, or did you really reflect on your energy usage, and overall carbon footprint?

Many of us leave computers running overnight, without giving sufficient thought to the energy consumed by these machines. In many cases, some of these machines could be put to sleep or otherwise made to hibernate to save on energy costs.

In business places, this is especially true when the computer room is air conditioned and the servers are producing waste heat that needs to be removed by the air conditioning. Or worse, where the doors and windows are left opened and cool air is allowed to escape.

In many cases, the energy cost of a building, and the ICT devices within that building, is not visible to the office administration but to the “maintenance” or “estates” department. This is not an ideal approach, because the overall energy impact is less visible.

In many ways, green computing or energy-aware computing is more about the mind-set than the technology.

For example, because server workload is reduced outside working hours, then the air conditioning could be “turned down” or otherwise reduced to save costs during these hours. That simple action will contribute to the greening or energy efficiency of your business. More sophisticated actions, such as setting a dark desktop background, or reducing your need for paper forms, will shave some cost off your energy budget.

To truly have an impact on your energy demands and carbon footprint, be prepared to consider every step, in every process, of doing business and dealing with your customers.

Some tips:
* Remember: Reduce, reuse, recycle.
* Print in double-sided as much as possible;
* Use landscaping to help cool your building;
* Close doors and windows to reduce the load on your air conditioning system!
Your mindset, and creativity will ultimately limit your actions. Think globally, act locally!
Join us next week for more simple tips on making full use of your computing systems.
If you would like to share your views on this article, please contact the author at: [email protected]

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