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Just What is Green Computing?

written by: MD Weems•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 5/5/2010

When it comes to the world of computers, green computing is becoming one of the most popular trends. But, what exactly is green computing?

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    So What Is It?

    The term “green computing" is one that is coming out in many different markets and areas all over the world in today's global technology. Yet, many computer users out there aren't sure what it means. Green computing is actually pretty easy to explain and to do – it is basically learning to use computer resources more efficiently to help the environment as well as energy savings. The main goal of a green computing program is to help the triple bottom line, which is an expanded spectrum of settings for measuring organizational success, and is extremely similar to green chemistry, which reduces the use of energy and materials that harm the environment. Green computing helps to promote the usage of biodegradable products and recycle computer components whenever possible.

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    How Did Green Computing Start?

    Green computing started as early as 1992, when the EPA created Energy Star, which is a voluntary labeling program that promotes energy efficient computing equipment and technologies. It was because of this program that many computer manufacturers launched sleep mode and millions of computer users around the world began to adopt this policy to help save energy when they were not using their computers. The term green computing began to be used around this same time as well, and began to become a goal that more companies strive to meet over the years.

    There are several government agencies that have continued to help strive for better standards for computers and companies to help promote green computing. Energy star was actually revised in October of 2006 to make the requirements more strict for computers, and also implemented a ranking system for products. Because of these new requirements, there are over 20 states that have now established a special recycling program for old computers and electronics to help with green computing.

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    Green IT Systems

    Many of today's IT systems are beginning to rely on both people and hardware to help push their computer systems toward a more green computing system to help both the company and more. This is a hard balance to achieve, as it requires that the satisfaction of users, management, regulatory compliance, and even the disposal of computer waste is all managed so that everyone is the circle is happy with the outcome. But, many companies are learning the best ways that they can go more green when it comes to their computing and also help their business in the process.

    While many home computer users may not be quite as familiar with green computing as larger firms or computer personnel, this term is starting to become more mainstream and the requirements better for new computers to help both the companies and the end user of the equipment – as well as our environment.