Go Green Tips for Techies

4 eco-friendly practices for the gadget obsessed

Want to go beyond the basics of reduce, reuse, recycle to make your workplace more environmentally friendly? There are several new technologies that can help reduce energy use and wasteful practices.

As a tech-obsessed person, I always felt a little badly about using excess electricity to power all of my gadgets. I’m online for way more than 10+ hours a day for work and play – so I always used to have my laptop charging, the lights on, and my smart phone and tablet on go all day and night long.

However, with a little investigation into eco-friendly practices for techies, I learned that I could make little changes in my everyday routine in order to conserve energy too! So I’ve since implemented the following practices into my electronics usage to ensure my tech obsessed life is as green as possible.

Here are my four go green tips for techies…

1. Power down your gadgets when you leave the house

Phantom loads, which are produced by home electronics even when they are not in use—and that’s not even considering the excess hours that you spend watching your favorite videos of cats online—can leave you with a high energy bill and a bad conscious when it comes to being earth friendly. When you consider that the typical U.S. household wastes at least 50 Watts of electricity per year with their electronics – you can imagine how much you’d save by simply powering down before leaving the house or when going on vacation.

2. Hop on the cloud

I personally hate slugging my work laptop home and then back to work again the next morning when I can just leave it at the office and save myself a massage at the end of the week. It’s now possible thanks to cloud computing services, which allow me to access files from my work computer, tablet, home laptop, and pretty much any computer all in one convenient place. This is particularly handy for me because I own my own business. Cloud computing makes my office a virtual office, allowing me to access all files, desktop icons, downloaded images, and calendar items remotely so I’m never without what I need. The environmental benefits of cloud computing mean reduced paper use for printing out hardcopies of documents – and you can turn off your computer when you leave the office because you can access everything from the cloud (and not bug your assistant to log onto your computer for information when you’re away from the office).

3. Energy efficient light bulbs

As mentioned above, my excessive computer usage meant that I always had lights blazing in my home. However, lately I don’t feel so guilty about it because I’ve replaced my old energy-sucking incandescent and fluorescent bulbs with LED (Light-emitting diodes) light bulbs. This means I use about half the electricity that I used to – and my LEDs have a five-times-longer life than my old bulbs so I cut down on landfill waste as well.

4. Virtual business contacts and contracts

I’ve fully embraced the idea of the virtual office, which means that I encourage electronic copies of documents whenever I can to cut down on paper waste. This means in addition to using the cloud to access files, I also offer my business clients online contracts to save on paper. You can just imagine all the paper I save by not making hard copies and faxed copies? In addition, I also encourage the exchange of business cards via electronic means with business card reader apps like this one. I simply enter the contact information into my electronic rolodex and I can access it from the cloud anytime I need it. This way I not only save trees, but I also never have to panic when trying to find a little paper card again. All of my contacts are conveniently in one place!

[About the author: Melanie Gray is a writer for BBGeeks, a popular site that provides BlackBerry news, commentary, reviews and beginner cell phone tips for BB newbies.]
Image: Ian Sane

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