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Green IT

Most of the things that a person can do to "green up" their technology use may seem small. But multiply those small changes in behavior by every person in Penn's community and the outcomes are huge! Here are a few ideas to get you started. Your actions will make a difference.

Did you know? Green IT Fast Facts

  • Paper accounts for more than 40 percent of a typical landfill's contents, according to the EPA's web site. So please, think before you print!
  • The NRDC reports that more than 100 million cell phones are no longer in use. Recycling them could save enough energy to power approximately 24,000 U.S. households for one year.
  • According to the EPA, of the 2.25 million tons of TVs, cell phones and computer products ready for end-of-life (EOL) management in 2007, 18% (414,000 tons) was collected for recycling and 82% (1.84 million tons) was disposed of, primarily in landfills.

Turn off electronics whenever they are not in use.

It is easy to head off to class or a meeting and to forget to turn off electronics while you're away. Even if turning off your computer is not an option, make sure your monitor is turned off and that the other things you're not using are unplugged, like radios and cell phone chargers. Electrical devices, even chargers with no phones or laptops attached, still draw a current merely by being plugged into the outlet. 

Print less and recycle when you do.

Penn goes through more than 60,000,000 pages of paper per year. Try to make printing a conscious decision, not a default behavior. Many printers can print double-sided. Talk to your Local Support Provider about making that your default setting. And when you're finished with something, make sure it goes in the recycling bin instead of the trash.

Charge cell phones and other battery items only as long as necessary.

Charging cell phones and other battery-operated items overnight can actually add unnecessary wear and tear. Continual overcharging can cause the batteries to become less effective over time. Take note of how long your phone really needs to fully charge and limit your time to that; you'll save your battery and you'll be saving energy too!

Only buy as much as you need.

One of the best ways to reduce waste is by being conservative in your purchases. Do you really need that new electronic gizmo or a monitor the size of a large TV? Work with your Local Support Provider to help make sure your technology purchases are sized correctly for your needs.

Recycle e-waste.

Computers, monitors and other electronics not disposed of correctly really put a strain on the environment, because they contain toxins and are not biodegradable. Older CRT monitors, for example, contain lead which can leech into the soil possibly contaminating our water supplies. Work with your Local Support Provider to pick a reputable recycler, like Elemental, and make sure your e-waste is disposed of properly.