Green Computing

Make those other computers green with envy! Save energy and the environment by practicing green computing.

Tree Acreage = Equivalent acres of trees planted to offset carbon dioxide emissions*
Car = Equivalent carbon dioxide emissions for cars taken off the road*

*(based on EPA emission factors and calculator)

Enable Power Management on your Monitor

Set your monitor to go into "sleep" mode after 10 minutes. For the 2,800 computers on campus this could save as much as 574,000 KWh annually.

Enable Power Management on your Monitor

Set your monitor to go into "sleep" mode after 10 minutes. For the 2,800 computers on campus this could save as much as 574,000 KWh annually.

$49,000 Dollar Sign 112 Tree Acreage 71 Remove Car Emissions Symbol

Does your screen go black when you are away from your desk? That means your power management features are already enabled. LITS now enables this feature before delivering computers. If your screen does not go black, please set your monitor for 'sleep' mode.

To enable monitor power management, use the Energy Star EZ Wizard or change your settings on your PC within Settings/Control Panel/Display/Screen Saver. And while you're there . . .

Turn off your Screen Saver

Despite the name, screen savers don't save anything, especially not power. Screen savers with a moving display use as much or more energy as a monitor in use. Unless it is conveying a message to the user, shut it off, and enable the "sleep" mode or turn off the monitor.

Turn off your Computer at Night and on Weekends

Turning a computer off at night so it runs only 8 hours a day reduces energy use by 141 kWh per unit or 57% savings. The 2,800 computers on campus could save as much as 394,800 kWh annually.

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If your machine is a server, check with LITS or your department to see if hours of operation can be reduced.


  • Shutting down my computer reduces its life. Myths often do not keep pace with technology, modern hard disks are not significantly affected by frequent shutdowns.
  • Turning your computer off uses more energy than leaving it on. The truth is the surge of power used by a CPU to boot is less than the energy used by the unit when left on for over 3 minutes.

Turn off Printers (and Copiers) at Night and on Weekends

A typical laser jet printer uses 1,221 kWh if left on all the time. This can be reduced to 378 kWh by turning off at night and on weekends, a 69% savings. For the 235 LITS supplied printers on campus, this equates to 198,000 kWh.

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Don't Turn Equipment on in the Morning until you Need it

Break the habit of turning on your office equipment as soon as you arrive each day. Wait until the first time you need it!

For the 235 LITS supplied printers on campus, if each printer operated for 2 hours less each day, the additional annual savings would be $17,100 kWh.

$1,790 Dollar Sign 3 Tree Acreage 2 Remove Car Emissions Symbol

Turn off Scanners and other Peripherals Except when being Used

In many offices, scanners and other peripherals are only used occasionally. Keep them off until they are needed and turn off after use.

Buying Equipment

If you are buying printers or other peripherals for the office, buy Energy Star compliant equipment.

If you are purchasing monitors, purchase flat screens. Flat screens use 40% less energy (30W instead of 70W).

By switching the campus standard LITS saves approximately 103,000 kWh annually.

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Reduce Paper Use

Producing paper is both an energy and resource intensive operation. In copiers alone, the College makes 310,000 copies a month. Not using the paper in the first place is always better than recycling it after use.

Tips for reducing paper use:  

  • Print double-sided when possible
  • Use 'print preview' to review documents before printing
  • Archive your email by saving to a folder instead of printing it out
  • Use the 'track changes' feature in Word when collaborating with others on a document to avoid printing it out
  • Limit mailings — circulate by email
  • Think twice before printing something off the web — save a bookmark for future reference
  • Use recycled content paper (at least 30%)
  • Recycle all toner cartridges and computer components

Properly Care for your Laptop Battery

Follow the instructions provided by your laptop's manufacturer, such as removing the AC adapter when fully charged, or totally discharging before recharging, to maximize the working life of your battery.

Manufacture of laptop batteries is energy intensive and most contain toxic materials. Extending the life of your battery reduced the environmental impact of the product and saves the cost of replacement.

When your battery needs to be replaced, make sure it is recycled.