“Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship, and strengthen governance.” These are the words of Ban Ki-moon, Former Secretary General of UN. Well, he is certainly right, but are we even aware of these terms? Let’s face the fact, we do not know what these terms imply when we should be contributing individually to attain these.
Well, it’s never too late to start afresh! Sustainable IT is a practice with which we can reduce the environmental impact of IT products and infrastructure. By doing so, organizations can reduce cost and show commitment towards social responsibility as well. Green Computing is one of the trending practices which focuses on using computing and information technology resources efficiently along with maintaining or improving overall performance. So, let’s take an insight into green computing!
What Is Green Computing?
There is no fixed definition of this, however, various organizations and dignitaries have enlightened about several facets of this term. In broader terms, it is a practice with which we design, use and dispose the computational devices and peripherals in such a way that they do not pose any adverse effect on our environment.
To make sure implementation of Green computing is done accurately, we need to focus on four areas majorly. They are:
The initial step is always the hardest one, and designing circuits or devices that serve the purpose still remains the most daunting task. However, the experts have successfully given many designs, and their working models are performing up to the mark.
Manufacturing units have been installed way before the term “Green Computing” was coined, and to upgrade them, we need a huge investment. But there are a few companies that wish to look beyond profit and loss and are working to make their manufacturing units eco-friendly.
No matter how optimized our devices get, if we are not using them judiciously, we may never attain sustainable IT. As this is just about conserving energy and making sure our deeds are not hampering mother nature, we all can take some steps and contribute. Merely switching off the light switch is accountable, so you can easily play your part.
We all use a specific device only for a specific time, and then we decide to replace it either because it is not working properly or you admire something new. Well, if we do not take proper measures and dispose according to the instructions given, then we are possibly making an unforgivable mistake as the circuits embedded in these devices have silicon and several radioactive elements.
Government of various countries often come forward and regulate their policies so that they are not lagging in any aspect.
Why Do the Experts Ask Us to Focus More On Green Computing?
Apart from moral responsibility, there are several other reasons because of which the professionals claim that it is need of the hour and we need to act accordingly. If we fail to do so, there will be consequences and mitigating those will be as hard as nailing a jelly to the wall. We have listed down a few of the many factors below. Take a read.
To Reduce Energy Consumption
The main idea behind implementing this concept is that we can save energy because the raw material that we use for energy generation are non-conventional. We’ll have to find alternatives soon if we don’t want to live the lifestyle of early man again. Every unit of energy saved is equivalent to energy generated and will give us a day to upgrade our energy generation techniques. Although we have a plethora of devices that are capable of using the conventional energy source either to operate or to convert it according to the device, they have yet not gained popularity. If we want to save ourselves from the hustle and bustle of the last minute, we’ll have to start thinking and acting from now on! Without energy, we won’t survive now!
Manage Computing Waste Properly
What happens when one of the computer peripherals stops giving its best performance? We think of replacing it in a jiffy! We buy the new product and just dump the outdated one in the dustbin. We don’t even think about recycling, and if the garbage collectors are irresponsible, they’ll take these gadgets along with other household wastes. What we do not realize is that our unplanned dumping of wastes is eventually degrading the quality of soil. The reason behind this is that every component in the peripheral is not good for our environment and may have an adverse effect on mother nature. This may even make the soil infertile! Let’s not forget that we grow our food from soil and even if we are entirely non-vegetarian, our food needs the byproducts of soil.
To Minimize Greenhouse Effect
Greenhouse effect and ruptured ozone layer are giving the environmentalists nightmares from a very long time and if we don’t keep a check on our actions, those nightmares might become a reality soon. We are struggling to cope with increasing temperature, melting glaciers, and what not. There is already too much on our plate and we are not able to find feasible solutions for them, we are definitely not yet prepared for more.
There are several other reasons as well, but instead of focusing on the problems, we should come up with the solutions and start imbibing them in our day-to-day life. As the experts are working on this continuously, they have found a few solutions, and we expect that this may pacify the adversity in the upcoming days.
What Are the Recent Implementations That Use the Concept of Green Computing?
Yes, we are still not entirely ready to adapt the green computing practices, but a few of them can be practiced without any hassle. To know about them, go through the points given below:
This has become an integral part of our lives these days! We are using the cloud for storage, software, and other services. Cloud computing has been adapted by most of the organizations and individuals because of its amazing features. This has helped in reducing the power consumption considerably as we do not have to maintain the temperature dissipated from the system and its peripherals. We just need a cooling system that is capable enough to cool down the basic system with an Internet connection.
Gregoire Gentil, the founder of Zonbu computer might have never estimated this, but his creation was one of the “greenest” desktop computer. It is equipped with 512MB RAM, 4GB flash drive, and has other features that are below average when compared to the computers available now. It claims to be smaller, quitter, and dissipates small amount of heat. The people who just need a computer for basic use can opt for this one. However, the advanced features have yet not been introduced in this which makes it unsuitable or majority of users across the world.
It’s a practice of creating a virtual version of something that is required by your computing device instead of physically deploying the system. By doing so we can efficiently complete the task without actually investing in the device or the gadget. A major issue which is encountered by almost every IT firm is that they work on x86 processor which can only run one operating system and application. With virtualization, we can easily increase the efficiency.
For those, who do not know what it is, it is just a search engine like Google. The experts say that it saves a significant amount of energy as the predominantly black. Some experts claim that not much energy is saved, but we believe otherwise. Small amounts will add up and help us save notable amount.
Another reason why we recommend you use Blackle is that each time you’ll see black screen, you’ll be reminded to take small steps to achieve sustainable IT.
Sun Ray Thin Client
This is one of the popular products released by Oracle. It consumes ultra-low power that is only 4 Watts. As it was designed for security and performance, it
can be configured to use cryptographic smart cards and need two-step verification to access the existing sessions. As this is a popular product, you can read forum answers FAQs, call toll free numbers to get help and its wide clientele will definitely have answers to your queries.
These are a few things suggested, but are these feasible? How can we attain sustainable IT individually? To know, read further.
What Individuals Efforts Can We Take to Contribute to This?
Well, there are many more ways in which we can contribute, but if we focus on small things instead of thinking about revolution, we can actually contribute much. So, we’ll not ask you to carry out in-depth research on this, but follow a few things that are given below:
Use Cloud Computing and Virtualization Unless It Hampers Your Work
We do not work on a highly classified project and that can be easily accomplished on a standard computer as well. Using these two, you can give a boost to your workstation without investing a fortune on it.
Do Not Dump Your E-wastes Improperly
You never throw glass pieces with the vegetable wastes, do you? Then why do you dump the devices that might have radioactive elements as if they are french fries? There are several organizations that are helping people to manage their e-wastes, you can always take help from them.
Before Buying Any Product, Take A Look at The Energy Star Rating
You always consider the RAM, ROM, screen size, processors and what not when you are buying your cell phone. We recommend the same amount of dedication while buying the electronic and computing devices. This will save your expenses in long run as they reduce the electricity bill and will have longer life than the cheap ones.
Put Your PC or Laptop on Sleep Mode When Not Using
It may surprise you but this saves significant amount of energy and emits less amount of carbon-dioxide. By doing so, you can reduce the bill of 2 billion dollars and carbon-dioxide.
These were a few things that you can do to contribute. We don’t know what future holds for us. With the development of AI machines and chat bots, we might have to compete with robots like in the movies, but we’ll have to remain alive for that! Practicing green computing for sustainable IT will ensure that we at least live to witness the “Judgement Day.” Till then, go green!