Overview of Procedure
The increase in U-M consumption of
electricity and paper causes an increase in air pollution, solid waste, and the burning of
fossil fuels. Much of the paper used by PCs is wasted. National estimates indicate that
most PCs are not being used most of the time they are on. In addition, 30 - 40 percent of
all PCs are left on overnight and on weekends.
On the U-M Ann Arbor campus, PC
operation alone may account for at least $1.8 million in energy costs each year. This
represents approximately 11 percent of the total amount spent by the U-M on electricity.
It is estimated that a PC system can easily consume 300 watts of electricity per hour ‚
the same amount of energy needed to operate three 100 watt light bulbs.
The following "green
computing" habits can significantly reduce the amount of electricity and
environmental waste for which PCs are responsible.
Electrical Conservation Tips:
- Turn the computer off overnight and on
- Wait until ready to use the PC before
turning it on;
- If the computer is going to be inactive
for more than 16 minutes, consider turning it off. After this time, the energy needed to
run the computer outweighs the start-up energy;
- Do not turn on the printer until ready
to print, even an idle printer consumes energy;
- Try to schedule computer-related
activities to do them all at once, keeping the computer off at other times;
- If spending a large amount of time at
the computer, consider reducing the light level in your office. This may improve cathode
ray tube screen visibility as well as save energy.
Paper Conservation Tips:
- Use "paperless" methods of
communication such as electronic mail (e-mail) and fax modems. Also, do not print out
copies of e-mail messages unless necessary;
- Use smaller font sizes and decrease the
spacing between lines, or reformat to keep the document to as few pages as possible;
- Review documents on the screen instead
of printing a draft. If you must print a draft, use the blank back side of used sheets;
- Use a printer that can print
double-sided documents. When making copies, use double-sided copying;
- The U-M buys and uses recycled-content
paper when possible. Look for papers with 50 - 100 percent post-consumer waste and
non-chlorine bleached. Also, recycle paper when done.
- Store information on diskettes rather
than in "hard copy" format. A single high-density 3.5 inch floppy disk can hold
the equivalent of 750 sheets of paper, about one and a half reams. Also, be sure to reuse
disks that contain outdated information.
Purchasing and Use of
- Printer toner cartridges can be
refilled, rebuilt and reused. Many manufacturers will take a spent cartridge, refurbish
it, refill it, and return it for about half the price of buying a new one;
- Determine whether you can upgrade your
existing equipment rather than purchasing new equipment;
- Donate an old computer to a school or
charity; if it is permanently out of order, give it to a computer recycling facility
instead of discarding in a landfill;
- Only buy a monitor as large as you
really need; a 17 inch monitor uses 40 percent more energy than a 14-inch monitor. Also,
the higher the resolution, the more energy it needs;
- Consider purchasing an ink jet printer
instead of a laser printer. Although they are a little slower, they use 80-90 percent less
- Request recycled or recyclable packaging
from your vendor;
- Buy soy or non-petroleum based inks.
These printer inks are made from renewable resources, require fewer hazardous solvents,
which translates to fewer air emissions, and in many cases produce brighter, cleaner
- Try to buy energy efficient products
such as those bearing the Energy Star Logo. The Energy Star Program was started by the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to encourage the production and use of
energy-efficient equipment. In accordance with the EPA's voluntary guidelines, leading
computer manufacturers are now producing equipment that can automatically power down to a
"sleep mode" to save energy when not in use. They also use up to 30 percent less
energy when running than conventional equipment. These added capabilities do not increase
price or decrease performance.
& Health Precautions/Personal Protective Equipment
The production of
electricity is the largest single source of air pollution, due to the burning of fossil
fuels. A power plant used to generate electricity, burns oil, coal, or natural gas that
emits gases such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. These gases, in
turn, cause acid rain, smog and global warming. Conserving energy reduces the amount of
fuel that has to be consumed, thereby reducing the amount of pollution generated.
Obviously, energy-efficiency is a positive step toward reducing air pollution.
Some of the tips given above to reduce
paper use and reuse of toner cartridge and diskettes will go a long way towards reducing
the amount of solid waste that ultimately ends up in a landfill.
Information not available.