By Donna Mazzitelli
Computers consume a lot of energy. For that reason, it makes sense to use them as efficiently as possible. Here are some tips to reduce your computer energy consumption:
Buy a laptop rather than a desktop. A desktop consumes five times as much energy.
Switch to an LCD monitor. The old-style CRT monitor uses about 150 watts of power. A new 20-inch flat-panel LCD uses about 30 watts. The difference in energy expense amounts to about $20 a year for a typical American.
Turn off the monitor if you’re taking a break of twenty minutes or more.
Turn off both the monitor and your computer if you won’t be using it for more than two hours.
Plug into a power strip. According to the EPA, computers and other electronics consume 40 percent of their power when they’re turned off but still plugged in. This is true for all electronics, including printers and fax machines. Power strips prevent your electronics from draining power out of the electrical socket even when they’re not being used. Turn everything on and off with one easy switch.
Skip the screen saver. Screen savers usually consume more kilowatts than they save.
Recycle. If it’s time to get rid of your computer, don’t throw it in the trash. Best Buy and Staples accept them for recycling, as do most computer manufacturers. Or, take your old computer equipment to your community’s solid waste facility and let them recycle it for you.