PCs Going Green
AS a joint initiative between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),USA and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, "Green Computers" are going to come in the market to tackle one of the biggest causes of e-waste: corporate computers.
The federal program, called the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEAT, is designed to help large companies and institutions procure more laptops, desktop computers, printers, and handheld electronic devices that won't harm the environment. The goal is to heighten demand for green computers, which don't include cadmium, mercury, chromium, lead, PVCs, certain flame retardants, and other problematic materials.
So far, 16 computer manufacturers have registered to sell EPEAT-approved products. The federal government has committed to buying about $40 billion worth of the green computers, which are not expected to cost more than conventional computers.
The 16 companies include most of the heavy hitters--Apple, Sony, Dell, HP, and Gateway. The article also notes that just from purchases made by the federal government, EPEAT-registered computers could reduce enough energy to power 72,630 households for a year (saving $71.4 million in energy costs) and reduce toxic materials by 75.1 metric tons.
PC and electronics makers are going greener bit by bit, with Dell a good example in the U.S.--its Dell Earth program is voluntarily moving toward compliance with the European RoHS (Return of Hazardous Substances) standard, which EcoGeek notes has "virtually eliminated the use of lead on their motherboards, power supplies and chassis." Dell is also jumping on the carbon offset bandwagon to help assuage your guilt with planted trees. You can also go to the Dell Earth Web site to calculate energy consumed by several iterations of Dell PCs (along with connected peripherals).
But if you really want to go green with your new PC, ExtremeTech suggests going the DIY route. It offers recommendations on individual components--from a power supply that complies with 80 PLUS efficiency requirements to an energy-sipping Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 processor. But if you're not so adventurous ,you can add to your current system as well as settings for optimizing Windows Vista.
Treehugger.com has released a list of the top 10 ways you can make your home greener by more efficient use of your electronics.
And if not doing it for the planet, what about your wallet? “40% of the energy used for electronics in your home is used while these devices are turned off.” according to Treehugger. Think of what that could do for your electric bill!! So, buy you a few power strips and flip them off when not using your entertainment centers.