In the modern world where climate change awareness is more prominent than ever, it’s increasingly important for us to adopt eco-friendly practises and habits, whether that’s at home or in the office.

IT manufacturers are constantly striving to deliver efficient green technologies that are more environmentally friendly, but how can you boost your efficiency and cut costs by going green?

Switching to green computing, when handled correctly, will help you be more eco-friendly and save you money. This is achieved by:

Here we provide you with four practical tips to help you implement green computing at work or at home. For further information on our product range, bulk orders and tailored advice to your business, school, charity or home office, please call 01428 707900.

Tip 1: Repair/reuse before replacing

Throughout the world, we need to be committed to reducing the load on landfills and minimising the number of hazardous materials being dumped in them (where they can cause environmental harm). If you have any out-of-date computer or supplies, they can be repaired, repurposed, or recycled.

At work, why not repurpose the items within your organisation? For instance, when workstations need upgrading to run heavy programs, you can move the replaced computer to another department where less intensive tasks are carried out. These computers are likely to be adequate for word processing, spreadsheets and other day to day administration. This will save you money while avoiding unnecessary waste and allows for workers to upgrade their system without having to purchase more than one machine.

At Hardware Associates, we provide an efficient and cost effective repair service for Apple products such as iMacs, MacBooks and Mac Pros. Using a repair service can help to prolong the life of the tech you already have and saves wasting it. All Apple repairs come with a 12 month warranty, which gives you peace of mind when using the computer over the next year.

For technology that no longer has the capacity to service your business or household, you can donate them to non-profit organisations and schools, where they can still get a lot of use out of them. If not, much of your electronic waste can be recycled and used as parts to make new technology.

Tip 2: Purchase a refurbished computer

Buying a refurbished computer is a fantastic option as it's more cost-effective and customisable, and if a problem does arise, it will be easier to get hardware replacements than buying a brand new model.

You will likely find that a refurbished device is just as reliable as it will have undergone rigorous testing, as well as being covered with the safety of a warranty that new devices enjoy (check before purchasing). At Hardware Associates we offer a free one year warranty on refurbished products that have completed our strict Q20 testing process.

Of course, these benefits are all in addition to the positive environmental impact:

What are the environmental benefits of refurbished computers?

Minimises the impact of labour and production

The manufacturing process of computers creates a whole host of by-products including air pollutants, water pollutants and waste. A high demand for newer models fuels more production and results in an excessive amount of energy used during assembly, creation and shipping. This emits more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

When you buy refurbished, you’re reducing your personal carbon footprint as you’re reusing a manufactured device that already exists, rather than adding to the energy output required to create a new model.

Reduce the toxins being released into the environment

Computers contain several toxic components including lead, cadmium and chromium. It’s reported that lead can cause anaemia, brain damage, and even death, whilst cadmium has been connected to lung damage if released into the air, and chromium may trigger allergic reactions and cause liver damage.

When computers no longer serve their purpose they often end up in landfills which can cause a detrimental effect on the environment. Toxins can leak into the soil and contaminate water, affecting plant and animal life, and can be dangerous if consumed by humans.

Decrease demand for parts and raw materials

By opting for a refurbished computer, you’ll be helping to decrease the demand for new parts and more raw materials. With this decrease comes less of a need for mining and destroying habitats while seeking raw materials, of which there is only a finite amount.

Minimises the negative effects of recycling

Contrary to popular belief, recycling can, unfortunately, harm the environment. It can cause the overuse of energy and leads to the spread of pollutants as electronic waste is broken down. In some cases, recycling can also be inefficient, leading to additional waste and chemicals left to damage the environment.

Buying refurbished electronics helps to minimise electronic waste and toxins, as well as the demand for natural resources. It also decreases the need for manufacturing and recycling, both of which can create environmentally harmful by-products.

Tip 3: Utilise power saving modes

Most computers come with the functionality to set power saving options for the monitor, the hard drive(s) and the entire system. This is an important setting for green computing as the alternatives, turning your device off or putting it in ‘sleep’ mode can interrupt your workflow so aren’t always the best options.

Power management

Modern operating systems running on Advanced Configuration and Power Interface systems allow you to configure monitors and hard disks to power off after a set period of inactivity. When your computer is in hibernate mode, the CPU and RAM will be powered down too.

There are also third-party power saving products that provide additional flexibility and control over your computer’s energy consumption. Some technologies enable the ability to manually reduce the power voltage to the CPU whilst others have the ability to do it automatically on systems with Intel SpeedStep or AMD Cool'n'Quiet technologies.

Tip 4: Unplug your device

Even when computers are in power saving mode or switched off, they can still be using energy. On average, 40% of all electricity used to power technology in homes is consumed while the device is turned off. That’s equal to about 10% of the total electricity consumption of your home. By taking the time to unplug your computer, laptop or tablet charger, you can save a notable amount on your electricity bill at the same time as helping the environment.

Choose green computing

At Hardware Associates, we are proud to have over 20 years’ experience in refurbished desktops, laptops and tablets, as well as spare parts and accessories, sold to the highest of industry standards.

If you would like to find out more about the benefits of refurbished tech or how we refurbish our computers, get in touch with our team.