We live in an Information Age where technological devices outnumber the number of people and it goes without saying that this has a huge impact on the environment: from the extraction of raw materials for manufacture right down to the disposal after the products have served us.
Green computing therefore takes a holistic approach in curbing the impact of computers and related counterparts on the environment, not just saving electricity as some are prone to think. Speaking of electricity…Another aspect of green computing is to come up with innovative and environment-conscious techniques for generating energy.
Benefits of Green Computing
It’s obvious that there are benefits to be harnessed from all this as discussed in these points. Green computing doesn’t have to be boring: there are innovative technologies and tools which make it a viable option for judicious energy usage and environmental conservation.
Cloud computing is a form of green computing in that it employs virtual, as opposed to regular, servers which could save a considerable amount of energy. But don’t these powerful servers demand shedloads of energy to run? Well, the secret lies in data centers’ economies of scale mode of operation.
These days, the cloud is applicable in almost every area computing: from operating systems to networking to data storage and software applications.
A company with 100 employees, for example, can cut carbon emissions from computing by as much as 90 percent energy if it embraced the cloud in its everyday operation – this is according to the Carbon Disclosure Project by the WSP Environment & Energy commissioned by the AT&T. This could mean bidding adieu to infrastructure that supports email, content sharing and customer relationship management.
Turning off your Computers
It’s become banal but doesn’t mean it’s any lesser true. Switching off computers (just like your TV without the remote) saves a substantial amount of energy. Whoever said computers can be damaged by turning them off on a regular basis was peddling a myth. While you’re at it, you should also cut off power (including vampire power) to devices like printers and scanners when they are not in use.
The money spent and resources used in manufacturing an electronic item from scratch far outweigh those needed to recycle it. It’s only recently that even developed countries have stepped up efforts to collect technotrash, aka e-waste, but more needs to be done on this front.
Improving Algorithmic Efficiency
An efficient algorithm doesn’t use a lot of resources but the productivity is manifold. And there are green computing measures that can improve computer algorithmic efficiency.
A simple search on your favorite search engine can have an adverse effect on the environment due to the energy consumed and carbon dioxide emitted in the process. As much as we aren’t telling you not to do more research, it is up to the companies concerned to improve their algorithmic efficiency.
Remodeling the IT architecture currently in place should be worthwhile in the long term. This involves total infrastructure overhaul, not just adhering to a set of best practices. And this isn’t limited to data center architecture alone: the same goes for IT facilities, communications, business operations and other aspects of computer usage.
As resources deplete and the energy crisis deepens, we need to seriously pay thought to making considerable changes in our lifestyle with respect to energy conservation. Green computing is one such way of dealing with the energy dilemma: we can save energy, reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment.