Seven Ways To Green

Mrs Mario
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You don’t need lurid spandex, a cape or funny looking shoes to become one of the planet’s saviours. Just compute wisely and carefully, use products that offer up some measure of environmental protection and awareness and try to share your wisdom with others.

The other day I was dropping my child off at nursery and watched as a mum left her car running for the fifteen minutes it took her to sort her children out. I was scandalised. Unfortunately, after I’d kindly tried to explain her impact on the environment, so was she. It didn’t end well. So here I am, writing it all up in a blog post instead. You can leave comments but you can’t glare at me in a menacing manner.

1. Pick your products

Obviously, since this is an Asus site I’m not going to ramble on about all sorts of products that you can get from other computer manufacturers. Instead I’m going to point out some of the products that Asus make that fit the brief so well that it doesn’t matter how I chose them. The first of these is the Bamboo series. These beauties are made from a renewable source, have cardboard interiors, techy bits that are untouched by specific chemicals and are generally so green you could probably plant them. Take a gander at the laptops themselves, as well as the green philosophy followed by ASUS HQ. At the end of the day it’s worth choosing products from any company that actively follows a green philosophy.

2. Turn them off

Yes, it’s only a two hour jaunt to the shops and then you’re going to leap back onto your PC when you get back. Those hours add up over time and soon you’ll have left it running for the equivalent of days, weeks and even months. Free programmes such as WinOFF can be customised to turn your PC off after a set period of time or you can use a clever idea like Wake-on-LAN to turn your PC on from anywhere in the world.

3. Seriously, turn it off

So you don’t like the idea of adding new software or programs to your PC and you keep forgetting to turn it off when you leave. How about just setting up the included options in Windows 7 or Vista (or any other such operating system, even Linux has it) to put your PC into Sleep Mode after a set period of time has expired. You can choose how long your PC runs before hitting Sleep or Hibernate and you can turn it back on with a click of your mouse or tap of your spacebar. Voila! By doing this you can save up to 25 kilograms of carbon emissions a year and that translates into around £6 on your electricity bill too. It will take three minutes to set up. Go. Do it now.

4. Work for it

Use your PC to save the world. How? Just go to Boinc, a program that lets you donate your idle computer time to science projects like or World Community Grid. If you’re adamantly refusing to turn off your PC then let this take control while you amble around doing other stuff and let your PC work for its right to be alive. You never know, you may be the one who makes that final connection.

5. Careful printing

We often cannot escape from the necessity of printing things out. The paperless office remains a distant dream and much of our daily lives demands signatures on real, live paper. Still, you can limit the impact you have on the environment and the number of trees you kill daily by making ethical choices. Buy paper that comes from sustainable forests. Seriously. Then pop on over to sites like GreenPrint that do cost money in the short term, but save you in the long term. Their software solution eliminates logos, extra pages, white pages and unnecessary information from emails and printouts so you only print the pages you need.

6. Plug it

Invest in a clever eco plug that does exciting things like shut down or standby your equipment for you. The Energenie Standby will shut things down when they go into standby mode (great for TVs and monitors) and the Ecobutton will activate your PCs Eco Mode instantly at the press of a button. You’ll soon make your money back in electricity saved and you’ll reduce your carbon footprint too. Nicey!

7. Do you really need that?

Choose your peripherals wisely. There are plenty of extremely useful gadgets that will improve your efficiency and work a charm so stick to these and avoid ones that are just there to warm your coffee or bobble in an amusing way. They chomp electricity and add to your bill so make sure the ones you choose count.

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