A bright future = caring for kids, and the planet
February 21 2012, 11:40 am

Here at the Foundation, we spend alot of time thinking about the future in terms of health. We also take the environment very seriously.  As we see it, we need to improve outcomes for children's health and also safeguard the future of our planet.

As Green Crusaders, one of our pet peeves around offfices and businesses is people leaving computers and computer screens on overnight.  We know you care about the future of our children, so we encourage you to spread the word with us and get your colleagues to switch off overnight - it's a small action that helps the enironment in a big way. (Oh, and there are some fantastic savings to be had as well.)

It's cool to be green

Did you know that shutting down your computer and turning off your monitor saves not only the planet (as if this wasn’t enough), but also saves hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in electricity bills a year?

It’s true, and it's as simple as hitting a button.  The energy you'll save can really add up.

While on, a desktop computer uses 65 to 250 watts and the monitor uses 17 to 80 watts (approx). Shutting down both computer and monitor when you leave the office can save big bucks over the course of a year.

Waste

Not convinced? Here are some scary stats:  A study in the US in 2008/2009 found organisations waste nearly $3 billion a year in energy costs by leaving computers on overnight. (Read the article in USA Today here.) That’s about 20 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere, or the equivalent of 4 million cars driving for a year.  Their report says that if every unused PC on the planet was shut down for just one night, it would save enough energy to power the Empire State Building for over 30 years.

This short video describes what it means when you leave your computer on. Watch: http://vimeo.com/15866184

Guidelines

Though there is a small surge in energy when a computer starts up, this small amount of energy is still less than the energy used when a computer is running for long periods of time. For energy savings and convenience, consider turning off…

  • the monitor if you aren't going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes
  • both the CPU and monitor if you're not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours.

FACT: Shutting down properly will save energy and wear and tear on your hardware.

FACT: In one year, if you shut your machine off before bed each night, you'll save an average of $90 worth of electricity. So in a team of 20 people, this is a saving of nearly $2000.  

Myths

  • Turning your PC off uses more energy than leaving it on. Not true. The small surge of power you use when turning it on is still much smaller than the amount you use in keeping it on for lengthy periods.
  • Turning your PC on and off wears it out. A decade ago, there was something to this, but not today.  It used to be that PC hard disks did not automatically park their heads when shut off, and that frequent on/off cycling could damage the hard disks. Today’s PCs are designed to handle 40,000 on/off cycles before a failure, and that’s a number you likely won’t reach during the computer’s five-to-seven-year life span.
  • Screen savers save energy. Not true. Screen savers, at a minimum, can use 42 watts; those with 3-D graphics can use as much as 114.5 watts.
  • Your computer uses zero energy when “off.” That’s true only if it is unplugged. Otherwise, the PC utilizes “flea power,” or about 2.3 watts, to maintain local-area network connectivity, among other things, McCall says. In “hibernate” mode, your PC uses the same 2.3 watts; in “sleep” mode, your PC uses about 3.1 watts. Monitors do use zero energy when turned off.

Share

Pass this info on to your friends and colleagues!  It’s  a fantastic, easy and effective way to do your bit to live a greener existence, and care for the future of the planet as well as caring for children's health!

 Sources: PC Energy Report 2009,  USA Today, Flowing Data, Software News Daily, MLive, Energy Savers, Microsoft, The Daily Green, Ehow.