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Simple Green Steps for Personal Computing

written by: Laura Jean Karr•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 11/1/2010

Personal computing has become a major drain on power usage as the PC has become as popular in every day use as a coffee maker. Here we're going to take a look at some simple steps that you can take to make your PC usage greener.

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    Simple Green Steps for Personal Computing

    The overall technology industry in the United States contributes the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions yearly as that of the aviation industry. The main cause for this is due to the accessibility and the popularity of the personal computer.

    Collectively, we can make a difference in controlling the strain that personal computing has had on the environment. By following a few simple steps you can green up your personal computer usage, save energy and even lower your power bill.

    Here we’re going to go over the five top tips you can use to get greener using your PC.

    Your Monitor: Turn it off

    Even though today’s more popular flat panel monitors do use less power than the old CRT screens, it still can drain power if you leave it running a screen saver or while letting your system sleep. So, if your monitor is not is use then just turn it off.

    Screen Savers: Stop using them

    Using a screen saver can be a neat way to display photos or watch your favorite animations run through a loop but using either is just a waste of power. Set your screen saver option to blank and you’ll save on the power drain from your monitor and CPU. Better yet, if you’re going to be longer than a bathroom break away from your monitor then turn it off.

    Shut it down

    In addition to turning off your monitor, if you are going to be away from your PC for several hours or over night then shut the machine down instead of just logging off. By shutting the system down you will be lessening the drain on your standard power supply.

    Power Savers: Use them

    Windows and Mac both give you the ability to change your power usage options. You can save on the power drain from your monitor, hard drives and other hardware. For MAC OS X, you can find the Energy Saver option under the System Preferences in the Apple Menu. In Windows, you can find the Power Options under the Control Panel from the Start Menu.