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Benefits and Action Plans for Green Computing

Green computing is the practice of using computers and related technology in an environmentally responsible manner. It aims at radically changing the way we go about computing, using the electronic devices and following strict energy conservation guidelines, so as to minimize the damage caused to the environment by computers. This activity is not just limited to saving electricity, but also takes a holistic approach towards environment-friendly use of computers. Devising innovative and environment-conscious techniques for energy generation is also one of its aspects.

Advantages of Green Computing
There are many innovative technologies and tools which make green computing a viable option for judicious energy usage and environmental conservation. The advantages offered by such technologies are discussed in these points.

Cloud Computing

Touted as a technology that could save substantial amount of energy, cloud computing involves replacing regular servers with the virtual ones. The different areas where cloud computing finds application include data storagenetworkingoperating systemssoftware applications. As per studies conducted by the WSP Environment & Energy, it is possible to save as much as 90% of the energy spent in a company of 100 employees. The AT&T-supported Carbon Disclosure Project reported that big US corporations can save as much as $12.3 billion (by the year 2020) if they resort to the use of cloud computing; server utilization too can be increased up to 80%.


Through this practice, we can save precious energy, time and money spent in manufacturing these electronic items. Resources used and money spent in manufacturing an electronic item from scratch are far greater than those needed for recycling it. Even in developed countries like USA, only a small percentage of discarded or used electronic items are recycled. France, which is said to be an ecology-responsible country collects only 14% of the e-waste generated in the country. Thus, there is a great scope for recycling electronic items and thereby, preventing environmental damage. Conservation of environmental resources, electricity and money can be achieved through this simple-to-implement step.

Turning Your Computers Off

The practice of switching off computers at night helps in saving a considerable amount of energy. The estimated amount of energy spent in a single year due to round-the-clock use of computer is $115-$160 (Schneider, 2008). Running your computer just 8 hours a day can help save 810 kWh energy on an annual basis. It is a myth that turning the computer off can damage it. Computers are designed for sustaining around 40,000 on/off cycles. Therefore, you need not worry about the computer even if you have to turn it off on a regular basis. The power supplied to scanners and printers should be cut off whenever these devices are not in use. This practice can also save a considerable amount of energy.