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Molly Lowrens Green Computing
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The increasing growth in the industrial sector globally is significantly affecting the environment. One of the particular developments that is enhancing the carbon footprint is the increased proliferation of computing, information, and technology (ICT), which affects the environment in various ways. The manufacturing of computers and its related resources produces dangerous waste, consumes water, chemicals, raw materials, and electricity – all of which affect the environment. Therefore, indirectly or directly, all these resources escalate the discharge of carbon dioxide (CO2). Currently, the world is working on reversing climate change and global warming. Despite the existence of natural CO2 in the atmosphere, human activities are eliminating the natural sinks of CO2 through altering the carbon cycle and adding more CO2. It is essential to note that every active personal computer (PC) produces almost a ton of carbon dioxide yearly. Presently, computing is not environmentally appropriate. For instance, out of 18 listed PC manufacturers, only 2 attained a standard green grade. They include Sony Ericsson in the 2nd place and Nokia in the 1st place. However, there has been a remarkable change since most enterprises are concentrating on making renewable energy, thus cutting on the cost of the increasing electricity charges. ICT is contributing about 3% of global electricity usage and emission of carbon dioxide. In case of continuous similar trends, it is believed to escalate to 6% by 2020. Additionally, the shifting favor concerning the environmental responsibility influenced by the strong corporate and public opinions is rapidly increasing given that climate change is a regulatory and political reality. Computing as a human activity requires environmental protection through the implementation of clear measures concerning the current hardware. Various software, including Little Green Genie, allows the organizations to offset, reduce, and measure the carbon emissions from computers. This paper will discuss green computing.

Green computing is the utilization of computers and their resources in the environment in an appropriate manner. In green computing, computers are manufactured, or designed, disposed, and utilized, in a manner that minimizes the impact they have on the environment. Various IT dealers and industrialists are investing in computers designed to consume minimal energy, be recycled, and reduce the usage of harmful materials. Green Computing practices were realized in 1992, the time when the Energy Star program was launched by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

On the other hand, without green computing, the world will escalate the already existing severe global warming since the emission of CO2 leads to environmental and global climate damage. Conserving the Earth is a vital objective since it aims at preserving life. In addition, the planets supporting life, such as Earth, are rare. Green computing aids in cost saving through the decrease in the energy cost of lighting and cooling, thus creating significant savings for various manufacturers. Therefore, the lack of green computing would result in the high costs of electricity consumption in corporations.

Currently, in order to realize the promotion of green technology and social awareness resolutions, several main dimensions are utilized. They include green manufacturing, green use, and green disposal.

Green Manufacturing

It is essential to consider the process involved in the generation of ICT infrastructure. In the process of production and designing of ICT resources, it is vital for manufacturers to take into consideration their effects on the environment. Various large IT manufacturers are adopting green standards in their operation to aid in marketing competition, promote environmental and social responsibility influencing consumers, and acquire novel revenue opportunities. The leading areas in green manufacturing of computers include the usage of bio-products and an Eco-friendly design. Usually, renewable and biodegradable materials in comparison to traditional toxic materials tend to utilize minimal energy for production. Companies utilize various kinds of plastics in computers that hinder recycling. In some situations, most computers have harmful contaminants for the environment including chromium, mercury, lead, and cadmium. The application of dangerous power-demanding supplies might be substituted by efficient and renewable elements such as displays made of OLED’s, with mercury not utilized in manufacturing, what makes them environmentally friendly. Additionally, computing resources have a design that encounters the inflexible limitation of Energy Star permitting the further usage plus resolute power management as well as supply requirements such as allowances and special modes. Ii is believed that the Energy Star devices can be programmed to decrease to a minimal electric state when not active, thus saving energy, and can run cooler, which aids the devices' durability.

Green Use

It is essential to have the knowledge of the full life cycle of computing devices during the application of green computing ideas. Various practices as well as areas can be implemented by users to reduce negative impacts and maximize usefulness for environment. They include virtualization and PC power management techniques. Virtualization reduces the necessity of a dedicated server to run applications. However, at the same time, it runs numerous operating systems on the same hardware platform as well as the system at maximum possible performance. In the traditional IT infrastructure, servers are devoted to particular computing functions such as database, communication, and storage. Virtualization depends on launching the virtual machine operating system and cancelling the generality of imitating of most computer designs. It is restricted only to the hardware platform and applied to execute the given number of guest operating system processes straight on the hardware computer. In a situation where virtualization operations are not performed directly, a virtualizer emulates them. Therefore, a virtualizer initializes the operating system for the latter to coexist with the primary system to acquire maximum performance and compatibility. The dedicated servers are utilized only when active connections are present, although they can be appropriate for various drives when they are inactive. However, virtualization impacts green computing by replacing paper systems using on-line communication platforms, limiting costly business travels of suppliers, consumers, and staff, and minimizing the need to dispose of desktops, power, and servers. Concerning PC power management techniques, there is a set of mechanisms and actions to control the power consumption of PC hardware including switching the system to the low-power state while not in use or turning off power. In green computing, turning off and switching to a low-power state are techniques built around the specification known as The Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI), an open industrial standard, with permitted direct control and energy management savings of the operating system such as the PC's switching off automatically, as well as going on stand-by mode. Additionally, when the RAM and CPU are disabled, the system can go into hibernation. For instance, various software solutions permit the definition of voltage on CPU that aids in reducing the consumption of energy and production of heat. Additionally, various mobile processors have the capability of increasing the voltage to the desired capacity in a moment.

Green Disposal

The green disposal approach includes reusing and refurbishing the existing computing equipment as well as proper recycling of broken, obsolete, as well as unwanted computers with its subsystems. Owing to the significant negative effects on the environment originating from an inappropriate disposal approach, green disposal is, thus, essential. It includes recycle, refurbish, and reuse.

Recycle. It is among the difficult environmental protection techniques. The aim of recycling is to capitalize on the re-use of materials, thus reducing their processing cost. Therefore, recycling aids in protecting both the raw materials required for future processing and manufacturing. There are two areas where recycling occurs – the subsequent wastes formation of goods and the production of products. The assumption of recycling entails allowing the required attitude to the production of goods favoring the manufacturer with suitable recoverable materials as well as forming a suitable behavior concerning these goods. Additionally, E-waste obtained from computers and related resources has various substances, including chromium, arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury, that are mostly harmful. Therefore, it causes various conditions such as the damage of the nervous system as well as reproductive, skeletal, kidney, liver, heart, brain, and birth defects. In situations where computers are disposed inappropriately, deadly chemicals are discharged into the environment.

Refurbish. Through substituting and reconditioning IT hardware parts, consumers might lengthen their utilization. The used devices may be refurbished to maintain their functions and obtain novel service. As refurbished equipment is affordable, enterprisers mostly purchase restored hardware, what makes the market expand. However, the difference between used products and refurbished ones is that the former are not or may be defective whereas the latter guarantee that the goods were tested and verified to function properly. Therefore, in hardware, refurbished products are usually sold after checking their proper functioning and repairing defects.

Reuse. Old computers can be utilized as long they meet the users' requirements. Therefore, the computers that are not appropriate for user consumption can be offered to an individual who will utilize them for their functional components (Saha, 2014). Mostly non-profit and charity organizations accept this equipment through donations to re-purpose its specific function. Continued utilization of a computer system contributes to minimizing its negative effects on the environment.

Computer consumers can contribute to green computing by applying simple steps to somewhat adjust their usage habits, thus helping to reduce the negative impact computers might exert on the environment. Personally as a computer user, I will do the following in order to support green computing. I can avoid purchasing the novel versions of products unless it is necessary. I can also contribute to green computing through appropriate disposal of broken computing devices by offering them to disposal centers such as E-waste. Furthermore, I can support green computing by obtaining goods that have specifications suitable for my needs. For example, if I utilize office software, I will not require high power graphic cards since they are suitable for games. To contribute to green computing, as a user, I can switch off devices such as printers whenever they are not active for a while. I will also find an ideal display setting for energy conservative monitors as a means of supporting green computing. Additionally, I will limit intensive power use such as video and games.

It is evident that growing technology is negatively affecting the environment through the manufacturing of computers and related devices that emit hazardous wastes. Therefore, the appropriate usage of computers may contribute considerably to green computing. To reduce their negative effects, manufacturers can, thus, produce products that are environmentally friendly. Such changes introduced to novel technology and goods include less intensive power consumption, recycling, as well as decrease in the use of dangerous materials. To realize green technology and social awareness promotion, various dimensions are applied. They include green manufacturing whereby computers and electronic components are produced with an insignificant environment impact. Green disposal entails reusing and refurbishing used computers as well as proper renewal of broken electronic devices and computers. Green use presupposes the reduction of computer power and related information systems as well as utilizing them in a proper way to save the environment. Additionally, computer users can also support green computing through adopting simple procedures to regulate their consumption habits. These steps include switching off electronic devices when not in use and finding suitable display settings to save energy, as well as reducing energy consumption activities such as games.

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