Eco living: Can computers really be green?
You might think there is very little that can be ‘eco’ about computers: they’re made of plastic and metal and they suck up electricity.
In the latest of our Light Home Eco Living mini series, we’re looking into some of the options out there for eco computing.
Environmentally-friendly computersMany computer manufacturers offer ‘green’ machines that use less power, are made of recycled material or can be recycled.
Dell, HP, Acer and Asus all have ‘green’ models on offer.
NSW’s Wollongong-based EarthCare Technology sells low-energy computers and claims its computers will help save the environment – as well as saving you money.
Their NetSense© Eco PCs are designed to “reduce your computing footprint”. They cut computer power costs, are built using energy-efficient components and are packaged in eco-friendly, recyclable packaging.
Green computer accessoriesHow about a self-recharging mouse made from cork? Or a keyboard made from bamboo? There are all sorts of weird and wonderful – and green – computer accessories available.
Made from renewable Moso (giant timber) bamboo, Queensland company Pure Bamboo’s keyboard and mouse set is compatible with most computers.
Corky is an eco friendly mouse that powers itself through the kinetic energy gathered from the movements of its scroll wheel. It has a cork shell and, underneath, is made from 100% recycled plastic.
Eco-friendly computing tips
If you’re not about to splash out on a smart new eco-friendly machine, there are a few things you can do to make your computing a little more environmentally-friendly.
• Turn it off! Don’t just leave your machine to go to sleep when you’re not using it – switch it off. It still uses power when in ‘sleep’ mode.
• Use the energy-saving mode. If you’re away from your computer for long periods but need it left on, perhaps to access it remotely, then enable the ‘standby’ or ‘hibernate’ mode.
• De-clutter for better efficiency. Computers that are overloaded with outdated files and programs are less efficient.
• Recycle your old PC. Don’t just throw it away – it will end up in landfill forever more. There are several options for this in Australia, including Byteback and Planet Green Recycling.
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