Green Computing in the University Library

Green computing, the study and practice of using computing resources efficiently, is on everybody's mind these days. Advances in computer hardware and operating system functionality mean that it takes very little to reduce your computer's environmental impact.

Towards this end, LTS has enabled power-saving settings on all public workstations and will continue to evaluate both the impact of these changes on our patron's computing environment and ways to become even more efficient. 

You and/or your department may choose to participate by following the steps listed below. Please work with your department head to determine which steps may be taken without compromising work efficiency or public service - LTS is available to help discuss or institute any changes you'd like to institute!

Steps You Can Take (from the University of Colorado website)

Disable Screen Savers

Once upon a time, screen savers were widely advocated for use in order to avoid screen burn-in. Burn-in occurred when a CRT monitor displayed a static image for a long time and meant that a shadow form of that image would remain on screen even when other images were being displayed. This does not occur with LCD-based monitors and rarely occurs even with the current generation of CRT screens.

Screen-savers use as much energy as the monitor does when in use. Instead, think about turning on your monitor's "sleep" mode, or simply power it down when not in use.

Enable power management features

Thanks to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA), personal computer systems purchased today can be easy on energy. These "Energy Star" computers and monitors can be programmed to automatically "power-down" to a low power state when they are not being used. These efficiency gains can be achieved without any sacrifice in computing performance.

The EPA has estimated that providing computers with "sleep mode" reduces their energy use by 60 to 70 percent - and ultimately could save enough electricity each year to power Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, cut electric bills by $2 billion, and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of 5 million cars.

LTS can assist in enabling your power-saving modes on your computers - please contact Kent or Paul if you are interested.

When not in use, turn off the juice

This is the most basic energy conservation strategy for any type of equipment. Consider the following:

  • Turn off your computer and/or peripherals when they are not in use. Turning on and off will not harm the equipment.
  • Don't run computers continuously unless they are in use continuously.
  • Turn off at night and on weekends

Note that computer maintenance functions such as computer backups, operating system updates and virus software updates are currently set to run after normal working hours. These functions can run during the work day with little or no impact to your computer's operating efficiency, but you may see messages pop up on screen when you weren't expecting them.

- Drafted 1/30/08; Approved by Operations Group 2/11/08