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Green IT for Dummies® by Jhana Senxian, Arnold Reinhold, Jeffrey Hill, Carol Baroudi

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Chapter 23. Ten Tips for a Green Home Office

In This Chapter

  • Buying wisely

  • Getting your power adaptors together

  • Setting up power management

  • Choosing green lighting

  • Managing the shades

  • Recycling paper and equipment

  • Making your home green

Much of this book addresses the greening of medium and large organizations. But many people work in their homes, and many large enterprises have some staff working out of their residences, at least part of the time. (Remember all those miles you don't travel in a daily commute contribute to a greener world.) This chapter suggests ways to reduce your home office environmental footprint.

Buy Only What You Need

Your home office impacts the environment in a big way when you buy new equipment. The energy that went into making it and transporting it, along with the accompanying pollution, often in third-world countries, is substantial. Using what you have another year, perhaps adding some more RAM (random access memory) and an external hard drive (the drive you can then use with your next machine) may be the greenest steps you can take. And when you do buy, get a machine that matches your real needs. A super-duper 500-watt 8-core dual graphics tower may win you points on World of Warcraft, but you waste too much time playing those games. And if you have kids, they'll take it over anyway (so get a machine your kids won't covet).

When you do buy, check environmental ratings. For starters, get an Energy Star rated machine. Some manufacturers go beyond those ratings. ...

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