The severe threats posed by global warming are real and alarming but we (office workers, geeks, or anyone who uses a computer) can help make a difference without making any major changes to our work lifestyle.

Here are some essential tips for computer users (released by Tufts University) that will help in reducing the rate of climate change, if not reversing the damage already done. Take a printout and stick it on the wall.

» Turn off your monitor screen manually when you are not using your computer for 15 minutes or longer (e.g., during lunch hour or during meetings).

Shut Down Computer» Turn off your computer at night and when you are not using it for several hours. The same also applies to copiers, scanners, printers and fax machines.
One computer left on 24 hours a day will cost you $115 - 160 in electricity costs a year and dump 1,500 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere.

A tree absorbs between 3-15 lbs of CO2 each year. That means that 100-500 trees would be needed to offset the yearly emissions of one computer left on all the time.
» If you buy a new computer, consider a laptop. Laptops use only 1/4 the energy.

» If you buy a new computer monitor for the desktop, consider a flat screen instead of a CRT monitor. LCD monitors use only 1/3 the energy.

» Enable the Power Management feature for your monitor.

Tufts Climate Initiative | Download Tufts Brochure [PDF]

Important: Do not put the computer in hibernation standby mode since your machine will still consume power. A PC or any other hardware device like TV or printer is always using energy unless it is totally switched off via the power mains.

Related: Shut Down the Computer via SMS and Outlook