ECO Computing Tips

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This is a simple Guide to show how easy it is to be Eco-friendly in the Office or home when using your Computer.  It may not feel like you are wasting or using huge amounts of energy and resources, but any tiny bit of waste incurred everyday does add up in the long run. Adopting A few good habits  to minimise waste and paper usage will help the environment.


Printing

  • Print on both sides of your paper.
  • Put aside printed paper to re-use on the un-printed side.
  • Set printer to grayscale and draft as a default, only print colour or high quality if you need to.
  • Laser Printers use heat to bond the print to paper, whereas an inkjet just sprays it on, only get a laser printer if you really need one.
  • Refill cartridges so you don’t waste any unused colors or plastic.
  • Consider getting a printer with separate ink tanks, so you don't have to throw out unused colors, you can replace only the colour you need.
  • Check if you local computer shop collects old cartridges for recycling and recycle your old cartridges rather than throw them in the trash.

Screen saver and Wallpaper

  • Laptop: Use the minimum brightness that you can comfortably read at.
  • Desktops: use dark colors, low contrast wallpaper and screensaver.
  • Set all displays to turn of after 1 min or inactivity.

Need a new Computer?

  • Think about upgrading your existing computer rather than buying a new one, e.g. if you need more memory, add more RAM or swap up to a larger Hard drive and re-sell (after data scrubbing) or re-use the old Hard drive as an external back up drive.
  • When you upgrade, don't just throw your old system in the trash or dump it on the street, If its not is working condition, you can always list it as spares or repairs on Ebay, Craigslist, Freecycle, your local paper or notice board at work, campus or school. If it still works, then clean it up, scrub out all personal data and sell it, donate it to a worthy cause, hand it down to siblings or friends.
  • Think about buying a laptop rather than a desktop, its easier to sell on (recycle) once you are done with it, chances are, there will be always someone needing what you no longer want. Its also more adaptable to changes in personal circumstances, e.g. if you are downsizing to a small apartment, a laptop fits right in while a desktop may take up too much space.
  • If you are short of cash, think about buying your laptop or peripherals secondhand, you can find lots of bargains with warranty on auction likes like ebay.
  • Hang on to the original packaging, if you don't have space, collapse the boxes and slide it behind a shelf or under a bed, original boxing is a big plus when it comes to selling on your laptop and peripherals, even if its only for spare and repairs

Don't forget

  • Turn off all computer and peripherals when not in use, do not leave anything on stand by, this also stops unauthorized or unsupervised remote access to your computer. Energy saving applies especially to CRT monitors, like a Tv, when left on stand by, there is still a flow of trickle charge, to completely stop this, you have to unplug or turn it off at the socket. Alternatively, you can buy an LCD monitor which does not have this problem.
  • Use re-usable chemical free cleaning cloth rather than disposable wipes
  • Take care of your equipment, so that its in good condition and can be used by someone else after you're done with it.
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