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Home Computing

Technical innovation wise, home computers have evolved at an astounding pace. Many households have multiple computers being used for multiple hours each week. This growth and innovation has lead to a steady growth of the amount of power these machines actually use. Computers have also become an integral part of many peoples lives, can you live without email for a month? We use them to communicate, to pay bills, to shop, and to perform many other integral tasks in life. Here are a few tips to help you ′green up′ your home computing.

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  • The simplest way to not consume power is to turn off the device. While this sounds simple it is a wonder that many people leave their computers running all the time even though they use them perhaps two hours a day. Booting up the operating system does take a few extra minutes if you power off but the energy savings are worth it.
  • Use efficient products. Many of todays computer users have hardware that promises speed and performance that is overkill for the tasks they perform. There is no need to run the latest and greatest gaming computer if you only surf the web and the draft documents. Efficiency does not mean low performance. Todays processors are faster and more energy efficient than their last generation counterparts. Simple things like upgrading your processor to a more efficient model and using an energy star rated LCD monitor can save a good deal of power.
  • Allow your computer to sleep. Use the computers built in features to allow hard drive to slow down and the monitor to turn off when the computer is not in use. Most operating systems have features built in to allow you to tweak your settings to use less energy when possible. Hibernate, sleep, standby or power off?
  • Consider a laptop over a desktop. Laptops are usually designed to be more energy efficient than desktops because they need to obtain a battery life when the computer plugged in. This means less power consumption when it is plugged in and you have the added bonus of plugging the computer half the time.
  • Lastly, but the list is not finite, be sure to recycle your old components when you upgrade or change your computer. Most areas have centres for battery recycling and with a quick search on Click4Carbon you should be able to find an electronics recycling centre that will accept your old computer parts near you, some even collect! Many manufacturers and retailers are even starting to offer a credit for the return of your old computer (ensure all information is not retrievable from your hard drive!) Computers and especially monitors now flat screens are so cheap and slim, are now becoming the landfill nightmare.


One question with a very obvious answer:

Buy and ship, or, download and store?

The answer to this question will not be discussed as it would insult the intelligence of the reader!

Substances In Computers

Listed Most to Least

  • Epoxy resins
  • Fibre glass
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Thermosetting plastics
  • Lead
  • Tin
  • Copper
  • Silicon
  • Beryllium
  • Carbon
  • Iron
  • Aluminium
  • Cadmium
  • Mercury
  • Thallium
  • Americium
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Bismuth
  • Boron
  • Cobalt
  • Europium
  • Gallium
  • Germanium
  • Gold
  • Indium
  • Lithium
  • Manganese
  • Nickel
  • Niobium
  • Palladium
  • Platinum
  • Rhodium
  • Ruthenium
  • Selenium
  • Silver
  • Tantalum
  • Terbium
  • Thorium
  • Titanium
  • Vanadium
  • Yttrium