Our damaged atmosphere has been crying for help for years but no one seemed concerned until a group of scientists shed some light on the topic. Some decades ago, scientists discovered that a coolant used in refrigerators and deodorants was exposing us to the Sun’s ultraviolet rays by depleting the ozone layer. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and carbon dioxide are the major offenders. As the world became aware of increased environmental degradation, both governments and private firms have reacted by forming and developing the green movement. The green movement proposes the use of green technology.
Green Technology Emerges
While many of us have already heard of hybrid and electric cars, green computing is still a relatively opaque concept. San Murugesan, professor, consultant and green advocate, explains in Harnessing Green IT: Principles and Practices that Green Computing defines green computing as “the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers, servers, and associated subsystems…efficiently and effectively with minimal or no impact on the environment.”
Here are the milestones we achieved in an attempt to build a greener world.
Searching something on Google does not seem harmful at all, but a recent study by Harvard University has shown that a typical search on Google releases 7 grams of carbon dioxide, not to mention the energy used through printers and scanners. Thus, when typing functions to build software, programmers have to make trade-offs but these should be chosen in an environment friendly way. GreenIT.fr discovered that the latest Windows Office requires 70 times more RAM, hence energy, than it did 10 years ago. Algorithms have to be developed in a way that demands minimum power and harvests maximum output.
Everything from personal computers to broadband services works on electricity, and there is a need to work on developing more efficient power management systems. The Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) is a standard hardware that controls the power supply to individual components when computers are inactive. On some systems users have the options to allocate power to the CPU and the processers. The power supply in our computers dissipates almost 25% to 30% of the energy as heat. 80 PLUS and Energy Star 4.0 certify only those power-supplying units that are 80% efficient.
There are many ways to increase green computing. For instance, hard disks smaller in size consume relatively less power than larger ones, and those that are solid-state have no moving parts when switched on, hence reducing power consumption. Hard disk manufacturer, Fushionio studied this and successfully reduced MySpace’s energy costs by 80% while still increasing its speed.
A second alternative is that of cloud technology. Cloud technology is an easy way to store your files and the data can be accessible anywhere in the world. DropBox, Drive, iCloud and others are currently providing these services.
Apart from all this, two fates await the computing hardware. Either the old computers should be recycled for newer ones or they should be shipped to charities working in developing countries for humanitarian works. If computers are not properly disposed of, we will exhaust our resources at a faster rate and contribute to atmospheric pollution. Green computing, thus, proposes sustainable technological development and aims to resolve multiple issues that are currently affecting the world we live in.
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