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Information Technology Services

Using Technology: Earth Day and Every Day

04/20/11

Over a billion people every year recognize Earth Day and participate related activities. As more people use more technology, it is important to consider the potential impact of technology on the environment – and how you can help.

Printing

  • Using double-sided printing is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to stay green while using technology. To help save paper, double-sided printing is now the default for all computers in the Boston College libraries and the CTRC. You can print double sided on both Macs and Windows operating systems. Also, duplex printing uses 15% less energy, further lessening your environmental impact.
  • Be sure to recycle pages that you no longer need to retain. All libraries and residence halls have easily accessible recycling bins. If possible, read documents online to reduce paper waste.
  • Wireless printing is a fast and efficient way to print your documents, but also has the potential to use significant network bandwidth and slow down wireless internet use, even when wireless printers are idle. ITS recommends turning off wireless printers when they are not in use to save electricity and maintain efficiency.

E-Waste

Electronic waste, or e-waste, refers to the surplus of secondary computers, media devices, mobile phones, and other technology items such as televisions that are discarded each year. An estimated 50 million tons of e-waste is discarded every year, which can result in health and safety issues if not discarded properly.

When discarding any piece of technology - whether it is an ink cartridge, a remote control, or an iPod - be sure to research how to properly dispose of it and whether or not it can be recycled.  Learn more from the EPA here.  

ITS and its vendors recycle 100% of products in computer replacement. Any old computers and printers can be brought to ITS to be recycled as part of the Computer Removal Program. If you have any questions, feel free to contact BC Hardware Repair to see if they have any recommendations.

Simple Ways to Save Electricity

  • Standby power for appliances (i.e. leaving a DVD player on when it’s not being used, or a phone charger plugged in even when not charging) can account for 5-10% of electricity use.
  • Unplug chargers when they are not being used.
  • When a computer has full battery, it does not need to be plugged into an outlet. This will help lower your personal energy consumption.

To reduce this power-drainer, use an outlet timer for anything with a charger - computers, cell phones, digital cameras, etc.

  • Change the energy saving options on your computer.
  • Use Smart Strips. Having all of your similar devices plugged into the same power strip is an easy way to turn them all off when leaving the room. A Smart Strip also helps to save energy with a master outlet. When the master outlet is not on, the power to the other outlets is automatically shut off.

 To learn more about what you can do to save energy, visit BConserves.