Green tip of the week: Smart computer use can reap big rewards for the environment

green keyboard
green keyboard

As an institution and community, York University is committed to saving energy and reducing its carbon footprint. One of the biggest energy consumers on campus relates to personal computing. Each day, thousands of computers and tablets are used by York students, faculty and staff. Three simple tips can go a long way to save energy and lighten the University’s footprint  

Computer Monitor: Screensavers are obsolete and actually increase the energy use of a computer. Ditch the screensaver and configure your monitor to go into sleep mode after five or 10 minutes of inactivity. When you leave your desk at the end of the day, turn the power to your monitor off.

Desktop Computer: When your computer is in hibernation mode, most components are deactivated and electricity consumption is reduced by more than 95 per cent. Configure your computer to standby after 20 minutes of inactivity or hibernate after one hour of inactivity. Put your computer on standby during weekday evenings and shut down during weekends and holiday periods.

Laptops and tablets: When ever possible, use a laptop or tablet instead of a desktop computer. Laptops and tablets consume much less power than a desktop (15 to 60 watts as compared to 80 to 300 watts). Set your laptop or tablet to sleep or hibernate when not in use.

For more information on these tips and detailed instructions on how to adjust your computer’s settings, see the UNPLUG guidelines and Green Computing tips on the Sustainability homepage.

There are also a number of things you can do at home to save energy, including:

  • Use Energy Star certified (power efficient) appliances and electronics.
  • Unplug small appliances such as coffee makers, home electronics including DVDs monitors when not in use.
  • Turn off the lights in your home when leaving a room.
  • Invest in an energy audit of your home.

Check out the energy pledges on the website or visit the City of Toronto Energy Saving Tips webpage to learn more about what you can do around your home to reduce your footprint.

Why not sign your office up for the Green Office program or volunteer as a Sustainability Ambassador? Do you have any green tips to share? E-mail and your idea could be featured in a Green Tip of the Week.