Monday, May 28, 2007

A Brief History of Green Computing

Do you know how much energy your computer uses? Probably not but if you do a little research to find out then you will realize how important green computing is. In fact, if you realize how much space old computers take up in landfills and haw difficult they are to dispose of then you would also appreciate the idea of green computing. These days computer recycling is of more importance than ever and everyone should do their job to help keep the environment clean. Learning a little more about protecting the environment and computer disposal is important so you can do your part for the environment.

When it comes to PC disposal you need to know everything there is to know in order to be involved in green computing. Basically, the whole green aspect came about quite a few years back when the news that the environment was not a renewable resource really hit home and people started realizing that they had to do their part to protect the environment.

Basically, the efficient use of computers and computing is what green computing is all about. The triple bottom line is what is important when it comes to anything green and the same goes for green computing. This considers social responsibility, economic viability and the impact on the environment. Many business simply focus on a bottom line, rather than a green triple bottom line, of economic viability when it comes to computers. The idea is to make the whole process surrounding computers more friendly to the environment, economy, and society. This means manufacturers create computers in a way that reflects the triple bottom line positively. Once computers are sold businesses or people use them in a green way by reducing power usage and disposing of them properly or recycling them. The idea is to make computers from beginning to end a green product.

The solution to green computing is to create an efficient system that implements these factors in an environmentally friendly way. A good example would be IT managers purchasing hardware that has been EPEAT approved meaning that maintenance is reduced, the hardware's life is extended, and makes recycling the computer easy once it is no longer necessary.

If everyone takes into account green computing then our world of computers will have as little a negative impact on our physical world as possible and that is what green computing is all about.

2 comments:

Green Boy said...

I've spent quite a bit of time focused on EPEAT. Unlike other green computer definitions that focus only on energy efficiency, EPEAT looks at more than 50 environmental criteria. There are more than 430 products from 16 manufacturers. Check it out at www.epeat.net

Thomas said...

EPEAT is a start, but it is a lot of paperwork, so it makes it more difficult for smaller companies to do.

Additionally, EPEAT doesn't regulate any of the following substances:
- only some brominated flame retardants are regulated, the most commonly used one, Tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA) is not regulated. Bisphenol has been linked to prostate cancer and because it can mimic estrogen, it can make us fat too (see my blog).
- There is no regulation of the manufacturing process of the electronics and other manufacturing. Electronics manufacturing uses toxic and carcinogenic substances during the soldering process. At place of manufacture these substances end up in the environment and stay on the components as residue.
- During metal stamping oil is usually sprayed on the sheet metal, there is always oil that reaches the outside world and gets into the ground or is inhaled by people or animals.

We (GreenMachineShop.com) are in the process of signing up with EPEAT to get our computers listed. We already reduce these above listed non-regulated substances by 97% and fulfill EPEAT requirements, don't know exactly how many we can fulfill, probably we'll reach their silver level.