Using ENERGY STAR Guidelines
Whether for your personal use or small business, you can affordably go green with your next new computer. Every computer owner can make a difference. According to ENERGY STAR, "If all computers sold in the United States meet the ENERGY STAR requirements, the savings in energy costs will grow to about $2 billion each year and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by the equivalent of those from 2 million cars."
The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR guidelines for computers state that qualified products must meet energy use guidelines in three distinct operating modes: standby, sleep mode, and while computers are in use. This ensures energy savings when a computer is active and performing a range of tasks and while in "stand by" mode. ENERGY STAR has a form you can complete to find an ENERGY STAR qualified computer that meets your needs.
The Green Electronics Council provides the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). The web site contains a chart that identifies desktops, monitors, and notebooks in the bronze, silver, and gold categories. The criteria measures efficiency and sustainability features. Computers receiving a gold rating meet the most criteria.
You can also do your own search if you can't find a computer that meets your needs. Know that picking energy efficient monitors, printers, and computers can save over $115 in the products' lifetime, according to energystar.gov.