As much as nobody likes to think about it, computers are an environmental hazard due to the toxic compounds in their circuit boards and their other components. They can also be energy vampires if you don’t use them the right way.
That’s not good for the planet or your wallet.
The good news is that there are ways for you to make your laptop eco-friendly. For one, you can recycle your old PC instead of tossing it in the dump. Many of them have power saving options as well.
Check out this guide to learn how you can have your laptop and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
1. Start with Your Monitor
Saving the environment starts with your monitor. If you know that you need to walk away from your computer for a while, turn off the monitor or set it to go to sleep. You should also turn off your monitor before you go to bed each night.
The brighter your screen is, the more power it’s using up. Dim down your screen brightness to save energy and reduce eyestrain. If you have an animated screensaver, get rid of it.
Screensavers used to protect monitors but the newer models don’t need such safety precautions in place. Technology has evolved and so should you.
2. Recycle Your Old PC
No matter how long you try to put off the inevitable, there will come a point when your laptop will break. When that time comes, you will have a choice to make. Chuck it at the dump or recycle it.
Recycling old laptops is easy. There are plenty of schools and other non-profits that would love to use your old computer. Just make sure you reset your laptop to factory settings before you hand it over.
Related Post: How to Reduce Electronic Waste (E-Waste): 10 Simple Tips
By recycling your PC, you are avoiding having it sent to a landfill, where it could pile up with other sources of electronic waste and leach harmful toxins into the environment.
3. Buy Green
The future is now! You can buy laptop accessories that are made out of bamboo and other sustainable materials. There are many brands that offer laptops that have plenty of energy-saving options too.
If you can, consider picking up a laptop that has rechargeable/reusable parts as well. You may have to pay more for some of these features but the environment will thank you.
4. Use Power Saving Options
Instead of having to go through the lengthy startup process every time they turn on their computer, many elect to leave their device powered on 24-hours a day. You may also want to leave your computer on so you can access it remotely or so it can update or download a game.
Every one of these reasons is valid but leaving your laptop on like this will consume tons of energy. Not to mention that a computer’s performance will start to take a dive when it’s been left on for too long.
That’s why you should take advantage of your computer’s sleep features. There are two major modes that you need to know about. Standby and Hibernate.
Standby mode uses up a little bit of energy but not as much as leaving your computer on does. It cuts power to your monitor and hard drive. All you’ll need to do is tap a key or move your mouse and your laptop will boot back up.
Since this mode still leaves your computer on, it doesn’t take that long for it to warm up and get ready for use.
Hibernate mode uses up no energy whatsoever. You’ll still have remote access to your computer and your device will perform updates but it will take a lot longer to boot back up when you want to use it again.
5. Take Care of Your PC
The longer you can put off having to replace your computer the better. So, one of the best things you can do for the environment is to take care of your device.
Defrag the memory at least once a month to stop the computer from running hot and using up tons of energy. Defragging will also allow your computer to work at top speeds so it’s a win-win.
Every kind of laptop is vulnerable to viruses. Many people think that MacBooks can’t get them but these people are wrong. To avoid a system crash, invest in the best virus protection for mac.
6. Save on Resources
Your computer isn’t the only office electronic that eats power. Your printer does as well. Keep it turned off until you need to use it.
Try to reduce how much paper you use by printing front and back. Make sure that you only print the final draft of anything and don’t print off emails unless you have to.
7. Choose Eco-Friendly Computer Accessories
We told you before that you can find eco-friendly laptops but why stop there? You can also get computer accessories that are made of bamboo. A bamboo computer mouse costs about as much as a standard plastic one.
If you need a bit of peace and quiet while you’re working, sound-proof bamboo headphones will have you covered. There are even laptop carrying cases and flash drives that are made using sustainable materials.
Make Your Laptop Eco-Friendly
As much as you need your laptop, it’s a huge energy sink that will end up in the landfills once it stops functioning. You can control your electronics ‘ impact on the environment by making your laptop eco-friendly.
Donate your computer instead of tossing it. When you’re in the market for a new laptop, try to buy one with energy-saving features. Pick up a few eco-friendly accessories and take care of your computer with regular tune-ups.
Living a sustainable lifestyle doesn’t end with making a few changes to your laptop. Check out our blog daily for more ways to go green.
This post was kindly sponsored by Setapp.