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Lowering your computer's carbon footprint

Tips and tricks to lower carbon emissions and lower electrical costs.

Steve Smith, host of your Technology Questions Answered, explains how to lower your computer's carbon footprint and save yourself some money.

Episode #1-40 released on July 3, 2011

Let's save the planet, lower carbon emissions, and save the animals. Words we all say, many of which we do not follow. I'm not hear to lecture you on this point, today, I will help you deal with one of the most expensive pieces of equipment in your home, your computer. Now, over the last few months I have dealt with some aspects on this topic, dealing with protecting the computer from power surges, data theft, and compromised security. Today, I'll help you beat your computer into submission by lowering electrical usage and saving you money, as a result.

I'll help you do lower your computer's carbon footprint, by explaining what each technique I give you means for your computer. And, to do this, I have compiled a dozen tips and tricks to achieve the ultimate planet and wallet saving goal.

Tip 1 - Let's start with the most obvious way to reduce your computer's carbon footprint, turn off your computer when your not using it. Besides preventing unwanted wear and tear damage to your pieces, it also costs a lot less in electricity if your computer is in power off mode, and not continuously powered on.

Tip 2 - Another idea is, if your in the market for a new computer, to get a laptop. Laptop's consume about a third the power a regular desktop uses and it's also portable.

Tip 3 - You can also upgrade your computer's components, making your computer faster, taking less time to do all your tasks, and then allowing you to keep your computer powered off longer.

Tip 4 - When doing such tasks as backups, defragmentation, etc... turn off your screen, you don't really need it to be on in the first place.

Tip 5 - Don't plug all your USB devices in, if you do not need them all. All USB devices draw power from the ports they are connected to. FYI : This is also true of HDMI, as I've just recently discovered.

Tip 6 - Enable sleep, hibernation, and the hard drive power off modes in the power settings of your operating system.

Tip 7 - Lower your screen brightness, the brighter the screen, the more power you require to keep it running that bright.

Tip 8 - When doing processor and time intensive tasks, check the box indicating that ability to turn off the computer when the current tasks are finished, if available. If not, suggest this option to the company that created the application in the first place.

Tip 9 - Purchase a UPS or surge bar that allows for other connected devices to be turned off when your computer enters hibernation or powered off modes. This will allow for the maximum reduction amount of carbon emissions caused by leaving other devices on. And, this ultimately pays itself off in the savings you get from not having your devices leech power.

Tip 10 - Also, if you have an iPhone, mp3 player, etc... opt for an AC to USB adapters to recharge your devices. This will allow you to recharge devices without turning on or depending on your computer.

Tip 11 - Consider using tablets or net books for tasks that don't require a full desktop to be achieved. This will allow you to do tasks anywhere, and save more power and money.

Tip 12 - And lastly, respect your computer. Keeping it clean of dust and dirt makes everything run better inside, using less power, reducing it's carbon footprint.

If you have any suggestions, comments, questions or stories, you may email me at tqa@zedaxis.net, post to my twitter feed @zedaxis, contact us via our contact form on our web-site at http://www.zedaxis.net or join our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/zedaxisproductions.

If you have an extra few minutes, I'd like to invite you to do my listener survey at http://www.zedaxis.net/ on the left in the podcast bookmark. It will allow me to get to know my audience better, know you likes and dislikes, and you can do it anonymously, too. Thank you in advance, anyone who fills it out.

And, as always, let's see you back here next week, when I talk about Dropbox and encryption, in next week's episode of your Technology Questions Answered. Thank you for listening, have a great day, don't forget to subscribe to my weekly show, and more importantly, stay safe and online.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions