Three Pathways to Greener IT

Sept. 12, 2008
There are plenty of ways to be green.

In the IT world, the solution falls into three general categories.

1. Improve Energy Efficiency By Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Manufacturers are producing new products that require less power. Product development teams are creating electrical circuit and power consumption designs that minimize power waste and design power-saving features into software, firmware, and hardware. Intelligent designs optimize computing devices for wake, stand-by, and power-down states. New designs require less cooling, as well. In addition, energy-efficient manufacturing processes reduce emissions and save energy.

2. Reduce e-Waste

By reducing the amount of toxic waste materials in manufactured products and using more recyclable materials, manufacturers are reducing negative environmental impacts. Two percent of the trash landfills in the U.S. are electronic waste. However, 70% of overall toxic waste comes from dumped electronic equipment. Newly designed recycling programs are optimized to better manage the lifecycle of products. Companies are offering recycling options, so consumers can be assured that their equipment will be appropriately recycled and disposed of after they are finished using it. Large organizations are already including disposal and recycling components in their hardware RFPs. These steps will go a long way toward shrinking and cleaning up landfills, re-using valuable materials, and reducing e-waste.

3. Enable Lifestyle Changes that Lower Impact on the Environment

Network connectivity and mobility reduce the need to commute to meetings and appointments, saving travel time, fuel, and wear on the world's travel infrastructure. Similarly, IP video solutions reduce the need for in-person meetings and support personnel on the premises for surveillance. State-of-the-art wireless solutions allow people to work conveniently almost everywhere. The proliferation of Wi-Fi hot-spot and WiMax networks will only extend this trend. Also consider the following power saving tips:

  • Lower electricity consumption by manually or automatically turning off monitors.
  • Use LCD monitors that consume less power than CRT monitors of the same size.
  • Use a laptop. They consume less power than desktops, and many have connections for full sized monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers.
    Source: D-Link Corp.

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