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February 24, 2009, Volume 55, No. 23


Green IT

This Penn website, www.upenn.edu/computing/greenit/ is a resource to help you “green up” your computing operations, by reducing energy consumption and producing less e-waste.

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 website. So, think before you print!

• The NRDC reports that Americans threw away more than 100 million cell phones in 2006. Recycling them could have saved enough energy to power approximately 194,000 US households for one year.

Green Computing Tips
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.

Turn off electronics when 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.
The average office worker goes through 10,000 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 leach 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.

—RecycleMania Planning Committee

Upcoming Sustainability Events:

On Thursday, February 26, there will be two sustainability events:

Bridging the Sustainability Gap: Education, Collaboration, Innovation! Trustees’ Council for Penn Women Lecture in Chemistry; speaker: Dr. Catherine T. Hunt, corporate sustainability director, Rohm and Haas; noon; Lynch Lecture Hall, Chemistry Complex 231.

Green Campus Partnership Film Series presents WALL-E; 7 p.m., Penn Bookstore. “Too much garbage in your face? There’s plenty of space out in space!” WALL-E is a 2008 computer-animated science fiction/romance film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. It follows the story of a robot named WALL-E who is designed to clean up a polluted Earth far in the future. He eventually falls in love with another robot named EVE, and follows her into outer space on an adventure.

For up-to-date information about the competition, campus events, green tips and frequently asked questions, visit Penn’s RecycleMania website: www.upenn.edu/recyclemania



Almanac - February 24, 2009, Volume 55, No. 23