We leave a print on the environment every day as we move through life. However it’s not only us as humans who affect the environment, no, we own things. We own cars, home appliances and these days, lots and lots of electronic devices. I have two smartphones, a tablet, a laptop and a TV, and that’s not counting what I have in the office. It’s a lot of devices, isn’t it?
According to Qatar’s 2014 ICT Landscape report: “92% of the mainstream population has a smartphone in their household. High penetration of smartphones is coupled with equally high ownership of laptops—96% of the mainstream population has a laptop at home.”
All these devices have a huge impact on the environment, one that sometimes we don’t notice. They are so small, quiet, entertaining and are a permanent part of our lives. Some may even describe their phones as an extension to their hands. I’m guilty of being one of those. However, with some simple steps you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of electronic devices while protecting our beautiful Earth!
To keep your IT life greener, check these tips:
- Phantom Power: Do you know that when you keep your charger attached to the plug, it’s still consuming energy? It’s called Phantom Power, so always remember to unplug all your chargers. I know it can be a hassle, but after a while it will be an automatic routine
- Sleep Mode or Shut Down: When you’re not using your computer/laptop, it would be best if you shut it down. It will save so much electricity. Such a simple step! If you prefer not to, or you’re only leaving the device for an hour, the second best thing would be Sleep Mode. It reduces the consumption of electricity by 70%
- Buy What You Need: When shopping for a new device, ask yourself “what do I really need?” For example, do you need all that memory storage? Can you work with a smaller monitor? For me, I can’t work with an 11-inch monitor because of my eyesight, but I don’t need to go as high as 15-inch or 20-inch. Got the idea?
- Smart Printing: Printers use papers, ink cartridges and lots and lots of power, so to save up:
- Only print when needed
- Make sure the document is correct before you print it, to avoid reprinting
- Use the double-sided printing options whenever you can
- Remember to shut the printer down when you’re done and unplug it
- Use a shared printer when possible
- Recycle your printed papers and ink cartridges
- Screen Saver: I was surprised when I was doing my research for this post that screen savers don’t really save on battery. It needs light, motion and colors and all of these consume power. Just close your monitor or put your laptop on sleep mode.
- Screen Brightness: In your phone, tablet and computer; you can, from the setting option, dim the screen brightness. It will save energy and will help lengthen your battery life, win-win!
- Smart Plug Strip: This is a normal looking plug strip, but it is designed to have two or four outlets for permanent devices and other four or six outlets for devices that you’re not using all the time, so when they’re not being used for a while, it reduces the amount of electricity produced. Pretty smart, huh? To read more on these smarty strips, click here.
- Recycle Devices: When you’re done with your device, try not throwing it away. If it’s functioning well enough, sell it, or you can donate it. If it’s not working, there are still people who are interested in using the hardware. For example, when I “accidentally” dropped my phone into the pool, it died, but a friend of mine took it and used the screen and outer hardware to fix another phone with functional software.
- Start Green: When you’re planning on buying a new device, check how green it is. There are a lot of websites that can help you get to this type of information, like Energy Star.
So, with little getting used to plugging and unplugging routines and keeping “oh, dear nature” in mind, we can save electricity and enjoy a guilt-free use of our devices.
But now I’m thinking, I don’t really need the two phones, do I?