Tips for Going Green at Work, Home and School

Use the Green Computing Guide to make environmentally informed choices as you select and use information and communication technology. By making sustainable choices as we acquire, use and dispose of computing products and services we will reduce our environmental impact and conserve resources. If you have any problems or questions about implementing the following tips, don't hesitate to contact the ICT Service Desk.

Important for U of S employees: Before making any changes to your systems at work, please check first to see if your college or unit has its own green computing strategy or other energy-saving procedures in place. If so, ask for recommendations on how to proceed.

1.    Reconsider printing

Unnecessary printing and printers have a major environmental impact both in consumption of resources and the energy required to manufacture paper product. You can help save paper, toner, energy (and money!):

  • Print in draft mode to save ink/toner
  • Print only final copies
  • Print double-sided and/or two-up
  • Try narrower margins (if it doesn't conflict with report style)
  • Avoid printing unnecessary e-mails
  • E-mail rather than fax
  • At home, keep your printer turned off and turn on only when needed
  • At work, speak with IT staff about the possibility of consolidating printers
2.    Use computer power management settings

Use "sleep" settings when your computer is on. The following settings are suggested, your needs will determine what is best for you:

  • Monitor/display sleep: Turn off after 15 minutes or less
  • Turn off hard drives/hard disk sleep: 15 minutes or less
  • System standby/sleep: After 30 minutes or less

Important for U of S employees: Enabling standby and sleep modes on campus desktop PC's will disable remote access through Remote Desktop Connection.

3.    Log off
  • If you log into your computer at work or have multiple users logging on at home, the computer will go to sleep more reliablyif you are logged off
  • Remember to close unneeded programs before logging off (some programs may prevent the computer from going to sleep)
4.    Turn off your monitor and other devices

Turning off your monitor and peripherals when not in use will save energy

  • Plug gadgets into power strips and flip the switch 'on' only when equipment is needed (if you work at U of S, ask IT or facilities staff for a power strip)
  • Automated powerstrips will detect when your desktop computer is off or asleep and automatically power off connected peripherals
  • Although turning off your computer may seem inconvenient, the re-start provides a more reliable computing experience and will save slightly more power than using standby mode
5.    Extend the life of current equipment
  • Delay buying new computing equipment until you need it
6.    Consider EPEAT gold-rated equipment
  • When it is time to buy, look into Energy-Star 5.0 and EPEAT-rated equipment; consider Campus Computer Store Eco Models
  • If possible, buy a laptop over a desktop for significantly better energy savings
7.    Reuse and responsibly recycle computer equipment

At home:

At work (for U of S employees):

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