Going Green sounds like a great idea. After all, who doesn't want to save the earth, clean up the environment, and make the hippies happy However, sometimes it can be an expensive proposition. After all, Prius' aren't cheap, and neither are the latest technological Green gadgets. If you've got other things that you need to spend your money on in this time of global recession, like food, but you still want a Green IT environment, there are things that you can do with your existing hardware to make them more environmentally- friendly, even if you can't afford to install solar panels on your own roof. It will even help you save money.The first stop on your Green Crusade should be your computer. Computers are sitting everywhere these days, and chances are that even you have two or three that you use on a daily basis; one at home, one at work, and another that belongs to a frequently-visited friend. There are a lot of things that you can do with these boxes to make them more Green.
Obviously the first thing you could do would be to turn it off and keep it that way, but it's not a realistic idea. Computers still take too long to boot up, and it becomes too inconvenient to wait for that to happen all the time. So what you can do instead is to optimize the energy usage on your computer. Windows XP has options to put your monitor to sleep, spin down your hard drives, and put your whole computer to sleep after just a few minutes. You can set these things for 1 minute or 5 minutes and save a lot of energy this way. You can even set it on hibernate, which uses even less energy than the normal sleep mode. If you frequently use your computer to work when you are not around, many popular programs such as uTorrent and FileZilla have the option to automatically shut down the computer after finishing a task, which you can use to further minimize energy use.
The second step in the Green Crusade could be your printer. There is more to Green IT than just saving energy. You can also help the environment with oldfashioned recycling. And recycling at the printer starts with using the blank side of the paper. Actually, this is a common practice in many IT companies in Korea - save the paper you use to print so that you can print once again on the back side. Also, trying to practice the idea of a paperless office can not only improve efficiency, but also save even more trees.
Finally, you should look to your peripherals. Printers, monitors, external hard disk drives, speaker systems - these can all be turned off when they are not in use. Also, many devices still draw power even when they are turned off. This is referred to as vampire power, and many devices with large, black brick-like AC adaptors do it. You could unplug these regularly, or you could get automatic energy-saving power strips to do it for you.
But even if you do not follow these tips exactly, just by keeping power conservation and the environment on your mind you can develop habits similar to these in which you can lower the amount of energy you and your devices consume. So even without buying the latest Green netbook displayed at CeBIT you can still conserve the environment the best you can.