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Using computers to combat E-waste

Generally, the use of computers replaces paper consumption with electricity consumption. Producing energy often has some very damaging effects on vegetation and the ecosystem, so reducing demand for electricity reduces the magnitude of its effect on the environment. There are ways to minimize energy consumption by enhancing the processes involved in producing and running our electronic devices. By applying measures using our computers, we can combat e-waste and cut the amount of it in landfills by half.


Product Development:
We need to focus more on the models and design for new technologies, if we push companies to design technologiesto be more sustainable the negeativity of e-waste will be dramatically redued. There are quite a number of projects involving research and development into manufacturing eco-friendly computers, people realize that desktops can consume up to 10 times more energy than laptops and Inkjet printers consume less energy than Laser printers and so on. Modifications to designs aiming at reduced consumption, green computing , more e-cycling management and making use of less toxic parts could potentially solve the entire problem. For example choosing a flat-panel display over a CRT monitor saves energy and making a petition, signed by a few thousand, to Microsoft to reduce the amount of lead in its devices saves lives. Here are some projects in research or development that are in development or underway by Oxford and Berkley Laboratories

Resale:
Is another, option where you can circulate old parts without reducing or e-cycling them. By using websites, online auctions, advertise on forums, make advertisements and flyers for local advertising, (eg. PowerSourceOnline) you can virtually stop one person from adding to the electricity demand.

Powering-down:
Shutting down completely, as in unplugging devices, not only improves and extends computer life, but also significantly reduces energy usage eg. shutting down all school computers by 3pm. A computer on standby can use 55W doing absolutely nothing.


Sleep and Hibernate Modes:
Come with most computers and allow you to shut down without the inconsistency of closing and reopening pages and programs, very useful if you’re always on the go. Sleep mode is less desirable because the computer is still active, however these functions both decrease energy usage to near zero while saving which programs are open on your desktop, people seem to forget that they are even an option.

Power-save settings:
It is important to remember that settings like these are not automatically enabled by computers, they serve to reduce energy consumption while the computer is in use once enabled. Every computer manufactured legitimately should have power save options, usually you need not dig too far to find them, they will be among the major settings or display settings.


Creating awareness:
Perhaps the most potent means for a computer user to support environmental protection is to literally talk about it. Generating discussion online can have huge impacts if orchestrated effectively. Imagine the millions of users on reddit and imgur, reading posts or seeing pictures of the devastating effects of improper device disposal and the huge benefits of green computing. Those millions of users have access to resources online by which they can distribute information, strategize and come up with innovative solutions. A large number of people are not aware of the dangers posed and an even larger number would be willing to address them and take action. By increasing awareness, we increase the amount of man power, brain power and willpower focused on the problem.