Be green with your old computer equipment (hard drives, monitors, printers, etc.) when you are getting new ones. There are several options:
- Can you keep your computer a year longer than the average 3 year rotation?
- Try donating it (and writing it off on taxes!). Many schools, non-profits, and charities will take computers refurbished by these recycling/refurbishing companies. Find ideas and lists here:
- Buy only from a computer company who will take back your old computer (such as Dell and Sony for FREE!). The Computer Take Back Campaign has a great PDF document that lists these details for you.
Try adding solar landscaping lights outside your building to add light to a pathway, area, or garden. A greener choice that will save you money in the long run. There are many choices available such as from:
An easy way to save money and energy is to turn down the hot water heater temperature at your library. Most factory settings are 130 or 140 degrees. By turning it down to even just 120 degrees, you can save a lot in energy and costs. Do you really need scalding hot water in the office?
(from Cnet’s Green Tech Blog)
The sustainability calculator from Xerox will allow businesses (or libraries!) to figure out what sort of cost savings and environmental improvements can be had by reducing the amount of equipment installed and to help people use fewer copiers and printers. The Sustainability Calculator is available online.
Worth checking out …The USBCELL rechargeable battery (produced by Moixa Energy) plugs into any computer’s USB port to recharge. It has a flip cap top that houses the USB port. (images available here)
It was awarded a Gold award at the IF Product Design ceremony in March and the Entrepreneur of the Year Award (listed under “Simon Daniel – Moixa”) at the Rosenblatt New Energy Awards in February.
Take this short 10 question quiz to test your green PC knowledge:
Do you take your work clothes to the dry cleaners? Think twice about the health risks!
Perchloroethylene (or PERC) is a manufactured chemical that is primarily used for dry cleaning fabrics. Most of us won’t be exposed to high levels of Perc which can affect the central nervous system, eye and respiratory irritation, severe shortness of breath, nausea, difficulty speaking and walking, etc. But even small doses can cause dizziness, inebriation, sleepiness, and irritated eyes, nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory tract. If you are pregnant or have disease of the heart, liver, kidneys, or lungs you are much more susceptible to these conditions. Long term exposure can lead to many forms of cancer. (more info)
- Find a “green” dry cleaner: CO2 or GreenEarth are two choices I found online.
- Many clothes can be washed by hand.
- Or try washing in the machine’s gentle cycle.
- Avoid the problem by buying clothes that do not call for dry cleaning.
(Note: Perc is also found in aerosol products, solvent soaps, printing inks, adhesives, sealants, paint removers, paper coatings, leather treatments, automotive cleaners, polishes, lubricants, typewriter correction fluid, adhesives, spot removers, wood cleaners, and shoe polish.)