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9 Ways To Make Your Computer Use More Eco Friendly

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Current MacBook Pro Setup
Creative Commons License photo credit: Steve Keys

Computers are an essential part of everyday life these days. Furthermore, using a computer can help to reduce our environmental impact in so many ways. For example we can look at a website instead of requesting a paper brochure. We can shop online which saves us driving to a shop and wasting fuel. And it is easier than ever to gather information on how to be green.

But there are also problems. Computers can be very energy-hungry if they’re not used properly. So let’s take a look at a few ways you can make your computer greener.

Use Refilled Ink Cartridges

Don’t just throw away empty ink cartridges. Dozens of charities offer freepost envelopes so you can send them off to be refilled and reused. Not only do you reduce the volume going into landfill, but you can also help out these environmental charities.

Refilled ink cartridges are now available in most stationers and cost no more 9and sometimes considerably less) than a newly manufactured one.

Use Vegetable Ink Cartridges

The actual ink itself in an ink cartridge is nasty stuff with all sorts of potential side effects. Some studies have suggested that printers and photocopies often spray out tiny clouds of ink which are invisible to the human eye yet can lead to cancer. Not nice stuff.

Vegetable inks look just as good on the page but are far safer for both you snf the environment – so why not make the switch?

Use Recycled Paper

Buying recycled paper is as easy as buying non-recycled so make this simple switch and feel less guilty whenever you print anything out!

Turn Off When Not In Use

If you’re not using your computer then turn it off. Many people leave computers running far longer than necessary. And if you are nipping to the loo or answering the phone consider putting your computer into energy saving mode to reduce the amount of electricity you use.

Reduce The Screen Brightness

I recently started experimenting with my screen brightness and realized I could turn it down a few notches and still read my screen perfectly. Perhaps you could try the same as I think you will be quite surprised how easy it is.

Use An Energy Efficient Computer

Manufacturers are now making more energy-efficient computers so when it comes to buying a new PC, do your research thoroughly to find the greenest possible option.

Recycle Old Computers

If it comes to that, don’t just throw away your old computer but instead recycle it so you are reducing landfill and often helping out those less fortunate than yourself in developing countries.

Turn Off Peripherals When Not In Use

If you have a printer, scanner, card reader, joystick and so on all attached to your computer, consider switching them off or even unplugging them when not in use so they do not use unnecessary power.

Use Paperless Billing

Lastly, contact the companies who send you bills (such as your cell phone provider, utilities, bank and so on) and ask them if they offer a paperless billing option that you can set up. Many will and so you will save paperwork.

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4 Responses to “9 Ways To Make Your Computer Use More Eco Friendly”

  1. Kyle @ FinallyFast.cNo Gravatar 7 February 2011 at 8:20 pm Permalink

    A great list of green computing tips!

    I would also add: If you're planning on recycling your computer any time soon be VERY careful about the recycler you choose. According to NPR (and likely several other sources, NPR was just the first place I heard it.) the majority of computer recyclers in the U.S. are actually outsourcing their recycling duties to firms in developing countries, like China, where the computers are often not reused at all, but disassembled and scoured for precious metals. Parts that are not valuable for reselling are incinerated and these parts are often extremely bad for the environment when burned. Many people working for these recycling firms have gotten very sick.

    If you plan on recycling your computer research the company and make sure that they will be distributing the computers for use by those that can't afford a computer or that they will be recycled properly with minimum environmental impact. Sometimes this might cost a little extra, but it's worth it!

  2. Insurance billing soNo Gravatar 10 June 2011 at 7:46 pm Permalink

    Great article with plenty of great information. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • RichardNo Gravatar 10 June 2011 at 7:54 pm Permalink

      I'm glad you liked the article. Keep your eyes peeled because there are several more posts coming up on making computers more eco friendly 🙂


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