These days, many of us are looking for ways to conserve energy, both to help the environment and to save some cash: buying energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances, adjusting the thermostat, and trying to “reduce, reuse and recycle” where we can.
But we may be overlooking one thing that can be a huge energy drain, increasing our monthly utility bills and needlessly filling up landfills…
our computers and t.v.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans:
– Generate more than five billion pounds of computer waste.
– Dump 82 percent of computers in landfills instead of recycling them; in 2007 alone, more than 40 million computers were dumped.
– On average, discard their PC after only 30 months of use.
Here are some easy steps you can take to keep your PC green and energy-efficient:
– Turn off your monitor
A monitor uses a lot of energy, more than you may realise, it accounts for roughly a third of the electrical usage of your entire computer.
Configure your monitor’s sleep feature to automatically power down when you’re away from the computer (this sleep mode still uses some energy, so at the end of the day or if you’ll be away from your computer for awhile, turn off the monitor). You also may want to consider lowering the brightness of your monitor (the brighter your display, the more energy it uses). Some people have reported that a dimmer display reduces eye strain.
– Turn off your screensaver
Screensavers were originally designed to protect older monochromatic monitors (a type of monitor that’s rarely seen anymore).
Newer monitors, such as those that use LCD or LED technology, don’t need screensavers at all.
Animated screensavers can be fun but they consume as much energy as a monitor in use.
Turn off the screensaver: turning off the screensaver can save you from $25 to $75 a year on energy costs.
– Use energy-saving modes
Many people leave their computers powered on around-the-clock often (this is to avoid a lengthy boot-up process), but sometimes we want to leave our PCs on so we can access them remotely or so that automated maintenance processes can run.
TIP: If you find yourself frustrated with how long it takes your computer to boot up, it may be time to clean it out: your PC’s startup process can easily become clogged with a lot of programs you don’t really need.
One way to combine energy conservation with the convenience of an “always-on” PC is to enable standby or hibernate mode (with these energy-saving modes, you can set your PC to ‘sleep’ after it’s been idle a certain amount of time, and the computer will only ‘wake up’ when you return or when it’s running maintenance tasks).
So what’s the difference between standby and hibernate?
Standby: With standby mode, your PC uses very little power; some is still used, but the power to items such as your monitor and hard drive is cut. When you come back to your PC, you’ll be up and running quickly, but your computer will be using more energy than the hibernate mode.
Hibernate: With hibernate mode, your PC is not using any power at all. Of the two, this mode definitely saves the most energy, but the time it takes for everything to power up will be a bit longer.
For any of your appliances, proper maintenance reduces waste, and the same holds true for computers. Much like a car, a properly tuned computer can run more efficiently: a lean PC uses less electricity and performs much better. By keeping your current PC in good running condition, you’ll also be able to hold on to it longer, saving you the costly expense of a new computer.
Recycle your old PC
Eventually the day will come when you’re ready to say goodbye to your old computer. When that happens, rather than throwing your PC away and adding to the world’s growing waste problem, why not recycle it? And many of the computers that ended up in landfills could have benefited our community by being donated to charities, schools, or other non-profit groups.
here is a link where you can find location to recycle it in and around Sydney: Next e-wate day on June 5th in ULTIMO
– Before you give your computer away, it’s critical that you securely delete all your personal information. Just deleting files, or even formatting the drive, isn’t enough, someone using easily available software can still recover the files.
If you’re in the market for a new PC, do some research before you buy: computer models that use less energy, have more reusable/rechargeable components, or use recycled material.
And your best bet may be to choose a laptop over a desktop. In order to optimize battery usage, most laptops have energy-efficient features built-in: a laptop can use up to 50% less electricity than a desktop machine.
Televisions, video players, and home cinema systems all use energy
Televisions account for 75% of all electricity utilisation within the consumer electronics industry. This level of energy consumption costs a lot of money and it also increases carbon dioxide emission which could harm the environment.
When you need to buy a new television unit or replace an existing one, you should consider choosing an energy-efficient model (doing so will help you save money on your bills and lower its negative impact towards the environment without compromising any of the product features you expect to enjoy).
There are advantages to using eco-friendly and energy-efficient television models, including:
– Lowering the running costs and increasing long-term savings on your energy bills
– Use less energy; therefore, lowering carbon dioxide emission
– Reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the functional life of the television.
Tips For Choosing Your Next TV:
You need to understand that larger television models use more power (larger TVs use more energy than the old-fashioned tube models because of their size). In addition, large TV models also use a lot of energy to manufacture, to test, to ship, and to operate. To be more energy-efficient, you should purchase a model that is no larger than what you actually need.
– Type Of Screen Technology:
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) television models are recommended for green consumers because they use less energy as compared to plasma sets.
- A 28-inch traditional cathode-ray tube television set use around 100 watts of electricity.
- A 42-inch LCD model might consume twice that amount.
- Plasma models use five times as much.
Another option is to choose a television set that uses Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology (this type of screen technology uses organic material to create light). Experts believe that OLED technology has the potential to be a hundred percent energy-efficient in the near future.
– Safety Level:
It is not enough to only consider the size and type of screen technology used in manufacturing the television model when evaluating its energy-efficiency. It is also important to evaluate its safety level. You should also make certain that the product does not pose fire, radiation, or mechanical hazard (this means that the product should not pose any safety risks to you).
– Energy Rating Label:
You should also check the Energy Rating Labels or ERL of the television set because it is the easiest way to help you choose an energy-efficient model.
- Here’s what you need to know:
-The more energy stars the television model has, the more energy-efficient it is.
-Every additional star means there is a 20% reduction in energy consumption from the past rating (this means that a two-star-rated TV model uses 20% less energy than a one-star-rated TV set).
-The best rating a television unit can get is between 7-10 stars.
-Visit energyrating.gov.au to compare energy ratings of various television models.
These are just a few tips for finding your next television that proves to be more cost-effective and energy-efficient.
Remember that the money you waste on paying huge electricity bills can be used for other more important expenditures; therefore, cutting energy costs can go a long way for your savings.