Green Computing: Because it Makes Sense
Green Computing: Because it Makes Sense Ideally, in a world that is perfect as seen from an environmental and economical standpoint, the two domains comprised of computing and green industry would be one and the same. This, however, is not a perfect world or a world in which those two domains have completely collided to the point of being completely intertwined. Although there have been great advances in the last few years for this ideology, there is the difficulty which most new technologies face. This complexity being the initial cost for the consumer is usually greater than the consumer’s desire to be environmentally cautious. These ideologies mentioned are what are being known as “green computing”. The following is a look into what green computing is as well as some of the aspects of what the consumer has control over when it comes to this crucial ideology.
What is Green Computing? Green computing falls within the field of green technology. “The field of ‘green technology’ encompasses a broad range of subjects — from new energy-generation techniques to the study of advanced materials to be used in our daily life. Green technology focuses on reducing the environmental impact of industrial processes and innovative technologies caused by the Earth’s growing population” (Gingichashvili, 2007). It is believed that 81 percent of Americans now own at least one type of computer device, with most owning multiple types of devices. With this many devices currently in use throughout the United States, it has become imperative that some type of initiative be put in place to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacture, use, and disposal of computer devices. “Green computing is the environmentally responsible use of computers and related resources. Such practices include the implementation of energy-efficient central processing units (CPUs), servers and peripherals as well as reduced resource consumption and proper disposal of electronic waste (e-waste)” (2007). Much can be said for the ideas behind the resourcefulness of green computing but the fact is that it is hard to implement all aspects of the movement due to the high cost from the manufacture of devices, which ultimately are passed down to the consumer. Though this is the case with initial cost for the more green friendly devices, there are many practices that the consumer can observe to ultimately reduce their environmental footprint.
The User The consumer, or user, is ultimately responsible for how they impact the environment. There are many important steps that a user can take to ensure they are doing their part to be green computing savvy from the purchase of a device, throughout the devices lifecycle and to disposal. First of which is choosing a device that is Energy Star rated. “One of the earliest initiatives toward green computing in the United States was the voluntary labeling program known as Energy Star. It was conceived by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 to promote energy efficiency in hardware of all kinds. The Energy Star label became a common sight, especially in notebook computers and displays” (2007). With educating themselves and smart shopping, users can participate in green computing without the initial cost being higher than it would have been otherwise. Buying Energy Star rated devices, such as central processing units (CPU), monitors, notebook computers, netbook computers, printers, and other devices, will reduced a users environmental impact while at the same time increase the amount of money they can save in the long run. Energy Star rated products not only use less energy, which will save a user money in energy cost and reduce the emission of fossil fuels in creating the energy to power that device, but will also allow the devices to run cooler because of the reduction in energy consumption causing the product’s lifecycle