Larry Magid: Earth Day Tech Tips
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— To mark this year’s Earth Day we’ve compiled a list of what tech users should be concerned about when it comes to the environment.
Our devices make a significant impact on the environment. It starts by simply reducing power consumption. If you’re not using a device, either turn it off or put it into sleep mode.
Almost all Macs and PCs do this by now if you’re not using them in a matter of a few minutes. Try to make sure you have your sleep mode enabled.
Don’t use screen savers. They’re not really necessary for modern displays and they waste energy. You’re better off just having a blank screen.
So what about passive power? This is all those charger devices and adaptors we have laying around and often times we have them plugged in for no reason. Your cell phone charger does use some energy even when they’re not being used. Not by much, but when you multiply it by everyone else who has theirs plugged in, it adds up.
There is a USB charger that turns itself off automatically, but unfortunately it costs $20. Most of us have chargers that were either free or that we paid very little for that aren’t so energy efficient.
The good news is that sometimes new equipment is more energy efficient. If you have an old PC, consider getting one that is ENERGY STAR certified. Consider printers that automatically print on both sides of the page. Spend a little more money on printers with larger ink or toner cartridges. They waste a lot less plastic and cost less to use.
As far as your old equipment goes; you should see if it can be reused, donated or somehow kept in service.